While every other 2017 Baylor commitment bailed after Art Briles was fired in May, one player stuck to his word.
Stafford defensive back Jalen Pitre made it official Friday when he signed a financial aid contract with Baylor. Pitre plans to enroll at Baylor in January and is looking forward to playing under new coach Matt Rhule.
“The way the other players describe him and the emotions they are showing seems like a good vibe at Baylor,” said Pitre, who is making his official visit to Baylor this weekend. “I think he’s going to turn things around. God helped me out a lot and worked with me, and I feel blessed to be here and thankful I can play college football at Baylor.”
Pitre verbally committed to Baylor in July 2015 before his junior year, but tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in October 2015. The Baylor coaches said they would stick with him despite the injury, and he never forgot that even as the university’s sexual assault scandal unfolded that led to Briles’ firing.
“Them sticking with me when I got hurt in the middle of my junior year was a key factor why I stuck with them,” Pitre said. “Ever since I committed I felt it was the right place. It’s a school I love academically.”
After going through rehabilitation, Pitre enjoyed a tremendous senior year as he collected 83 tackles, six interceptions and four fumble recoveries for a Stafford team that reached the Class 4A Division I finals before losing to Carthage.
Pitre mostly played safety for Stafford but also saw some time at cornerback.
“He’s an unbelievable player with uncanny instincts,” said Stafford coach Ron Counter. “He’s one of those guys who can see a play develop before it happens. His football IQ is off the charts, and is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached in 28 years.”