Arkansas State gained two commitments over the summer from McGill-Toolen Catholic (Ala.) High School players. Jalen Square was the first to make his pledge to the Red Wolves staff in June followed by teammate, Carl Lee, in August. Although Square, a 5-foot-10, 176-pound cornerback, has five other Division 1 offers with school's still pursing him, he says his commitment to ASU remains strong.
"The first thing with me is my faith," said Jalen Square. "I felt Coach Malzahn and his staff have a good, Christian-like atmosphere. I loved the closeness they have with their players. On the visit, I felt like I was already family to them. Coach Drinkwitz and I have a great relationship. I've known him so long now I can talk to him about anything and he understands. They invited my family and I up to a home game. I've been there twice, but I'd like to go back again soon."
McGill-Toolen is off to a 4-0 start and highly ranked in Alabama 6A. They're fresh off a one point win over Mobile area rival, Davidson, and Square is already thinking about a state championship before he leaves.
"I'm playing safety and cornerback," Square said. "This year I'm playing a lot more physical. You can see a big hit I made in the Northridge game on YouTube. I'm coming up in the box and making plays in the backfield. In the Theodore game, I made seven tackles, an interception, and forced a fumble. I'm using my feet a lot better. The 7-on-7 at Hoover over the summer helped me because I had to go against different types of receivers. Also, going against some of the great receivers we have here, like Carl Lee, in practice has helped my game. As a senior I've stepped up as a leader on the team, but my goal is lead us toward a state championship."
Playing on a winning team in the top classification in Alabama will get you noticed. If Square was under-the-radar prior to the season, he's not anymore and is hearing from a couple of SEC powerhouses.
"I've been getting some interest from Auburn and Mississippi State," he said. "They haven't offered, but I'm hearing from them. I'm hearing most from Louisiana-Lafayette, Toledo, and Memphis, and a little from Troy and UAB. I'm still committed to Arkansas State."
In the off-season, Square plays point guard for Yellowjackets basketball and competes in track and field. He reports a best time in the 100 yard dash of 10.8 and a 4.4 best in the 40 yard dash. The road doesn't get any easier for McGill-Toolen. This week they travel to 2010 state champion, Daphne.