Nothing Like Home for Jalen Pitre

By Gracie Martinez

We are bursting with pride for our very own #SMSDAlumni Jalen Pitre from the Class of 2017, who was drafted by the Houston Texans in round 2 of the #NFLDraft this past weekend. He is the first student from Stafford MSD to be drafted in the early rounds by the NFL, and many folks from Stafford have been calling it for years.

Only a few days before the draft, Pitre called his coaches at Stafford to schedule a visit with Spartan athletes. It was important that he came back to the place it all started before the next big chapter. He visited with students during their athletic period, and shared great tips about life after high school including the importance of family, friends, and standards. 

For the draft, Pitre decided to skip the Las Vegas experience and stayed at his childhood home surrounded by family. When Pitre got the initial call from the Houston Texans coaching staff, he was only a few minutes from NRG stadium.

Pitre said, "It was an emotional experience. Just being able to stay home with a team I've been following my whole life. I'm ready to get to work."

As a football player at Baylor University, Pitre helped the Bears defeat Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl 21-7. He earned several awards during his senior year including the AP's Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, being named to the Walter Camp All-American team, and a finalist spot for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given out annually to the nation's top defensive back. He also excelled academically, earning a bachelor's degree in Real Estate and Marketing, and a master's degree in Educational Psychology.

When he played football at Stafford High School, Pitre was a three-year starter for the team, and played as a senior on the best team in school history in 2016. The Spartans reached the UIL Class 4A State Quarterfinals – the farthest football playoff run in school history.

Athletic Director Coach Ken Savanah worked with Jalen throughout high school and said, "I'm ecstatic about his draft. We knew he was special when he was here as a kid, and this all makes sense to happen to him. He's had a special knack for the game since the day I met him." 

God and family come first for Pitre. During his recent visit to campus, he credited his success to his relationship with God and gave a special thank you to his family. He was especially grateful to his older brother and fellow Stafford graduate Jerick Pitre for being a great role model. His brother Jerick also played football for Incarnate word in San Antonio.

Pitre joins other Stafford graduates who have played for the NFL and signed on as free agents such as Adrian Awasom (class of 2001), Craig Robertson (class of 2006), Boris Anyama (class of 2010), and Easy Anyama (class of 2013).

Graphic by Tracey Armintor