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Michigan State safety Jalen Watts-Jackson to pursue grad transfer

Michigan State defensive back Jalen Watts-Jackson has sparingly played throughout his college career. But his name will live on forever because of a fateful night in Ann Arbor on October 17, 2015.

The hero from that 27-23 win over Michigan, Watts-Jackson has decided to leave the Michigan State program and go the grad transfer route.

Watts-Jackson, a native of West Bloomfield and former 3-star recruit from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, signed on to play at Michigan State back in 2014 and enrolled at the university that summer. After redshirting his first year on campus, he appeared in seven games for MSU during the 2015 season. One of which, of course, happened to include perhaps the most memorable play in the history of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.

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Watts-Jackson played in just 16 career games over two seasons at Michigan State, recording eight tackles in that span. Injuries really limited his opportunities (was also injured in that final play in 2015 against MICH), missing the final three games of the 2016 season and playing just two snaps last year.

He won’t be remembered much for his overall body of work at MSU, but when people hear his name, they will immediately think back to that 38-yard dash down the sidelines in the Big House as time expired. It was among our most memorable moments from the 2015 year in sports, and even garnered some terrific Christmas caroling from one of our resident Michigan die-hard fans.

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As for this upcoming season, Watts-Jackson was gradually falling down the pecking order of the Michigan State depth chart. With the Spartans returning essentially its entire secondary corps, plus some incoming freshman to add reinforcements, the opportunities for Watts-Jackson were dwindling. He was also not listed on the team’s initial spring roster back in February.

On track to graduate this semester at Michigan State, Watts-Jackson will be allowed to use up his final year of playing eligibility elsewhere and play immediately in 2018.

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