"Jalen came to us as a freshman and he played tight end for us as a sophomore. He started for us at tight end and he improved for us over the year after a few growing pains, but we decided to move him to defensive end as a junior and to leave him there," said Coach Adam Winegarden.
"He got better there as the year went on. His strength right now is definitely the pass rush, so he has be more consistent when playing the run and just in overall play, but he is only getting better and better."
Winegarden is up front and he says his player has to improve and most importantly, become a more consistent player, but if it all comes together for his star player, how far could he go?
"He has NFL potential. He carries 240 pounds now and he doesn't look close to that. He can easily carry 280 pounds and still run. Jalen has great speed and he ran a 4.6 in the 40 [yard dash] for us last year. He has all the potential, but potential does not mean anything. Jalen needs to take that potential and turn it into performance. I expect him to do that."
The University of Georgia became the first school to offer Fields early in February. Scout.com broke the news just a day after the offer was extended. Other schools have recognized Fields as well.
"When I sent out film of Jalen earlier in the year, my phone was ringing off the hook immediately. Georgia, Florida, and Florida State were some of the schools, then Tennessee and Auburn have been calling a lot recently. A lot of schools are interested and now that the first offer is out, I think more will come (he was right)."
The home-state Bulldogs were that first school and they stepped up with an early offer. Coach Windegarden said both Jon Fabris and Stacy Searels raved about Fields play and that they wanted him in Athens.
A lot of conversation has taken place between the Dalton coach and UGA staff in recent weeks and the Dawgs have shined in front of Winegarden.
"Georgia has been very honest, loyal, and consistent with Jalen, and I have been very impressed with Georgia. Coach Mark Richt, Coach [Stacy] Searels, and their whole staff are just quality men and I have a lot of respect for the people at Georgia. They do an excellent job recruiting quality young men for their program."
Fields lists Georgia high on his list and them offering first gives them an edge early on, but he is still looking to see who offers next. The recruiting game is new to the athletic D-end, so the Dalton staff will help him along the way.
"We are going to lead Jalen through the process and help guide him through the process, but once he feels comfortable and ready, I think he will make a decision. This is a once in a lifetime experience, so we will see when Jalen is ready. Once one offer comes in, usually they start coming, so we will see who offers now that Georgia has and then we will see how long Jalen waits before making his decision."
No matter who offers and who Fields signs with, Coach Winegarden knows he has a special player on his team.
"Talent wise, his potential is so high that it is unlimited," the Catamount Head Coach stated without hesitation. "We expect him to play more consistent and to just keep improving for us next season. How good Jalen wants to be is all up to him because he all the ability."
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Analyst for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.