Washington D.C. Friendship Academy CB, Jalen Tabor has been among the most heavily recruited prospects the class of 2014 for well over a year. One look back at his body of work, including his standout junior campaign, and it’s easy to see why.
“It was an up and down season, but we finished strong,” Tabor recalled. “We definitely had a real good season. We had planned to go undefeated. There were a couple plays here and there in those three games that we lost that if we would have made those plays, we definitely would have been in the top (teams) in the country. We dropped three games, but we finished up with a championship.”
“I did real well,” he added. “I don’t think I had more than seven catches on me when I was in man to man… probably if that… maybe five. So it was definitely a real good season.”
A scholarship tally approaching 30 is further proof of just how good. Tennessee had been earned the distinction of leading that crowded list of suitors, but the firing of former headman, Derek Dooley opened the door for others to rise to the fore.
“I would say I have a top three with Alabama, Notre Dame and Florida,” Tabor told Scout.com. “I cut it to 13. There are five ACC schools; Maryland, Florida State, North Carolina, Clemson and Miami. There are four SEC schools; Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. Then, it’s Oklahoma from the Big 12, and two Big Ten schools in Michigan and Ohio State, and then Notre Dame.”
Michigan began courting the four-star defensive back last winter and has worked hard to stay in the mix for the talented youngster ever since.
“Coach (Curt) Mallory is a real cool guy,” said Tabor. “I like Michigan, so they’re still in it. I’m hearing a lot from them through Facebook.”
“I know a lot (about Michigan) based on the tradition. One of my favorite players is Charles Woodson. I’ve seen them win a lot of ball games. They compete. I watched the bowl game, and the defense was just flying around like the world was about to end. They definitely compete, and I definitely like that about Michigan.”
Tabor’s positive impression of the Wolverines has been enhanced by his interaction with former Michigan standout, Cato June.
“My father works at the school (June) coaches at (Anacostia high in Washington D.C.,” Tabor reported. “(June is) always keeping Michigan in my head. I know Cato real well.”
While’s June’s endorsement may serve to help keep Michigan in the race for the DC star, a visit to Ann Arbor may be necessary for the Maize & Blue to move up.
“I plan on getting out to some schools,” Tabor stated. “I don’t know which schools, but I definitely do plan on getting to some schools. I definitely want to see (schools that have) early playing time and exposure. I want to play with the best; and education will be a factor, so it’s definitely a lot that goes into (to the decision). "
That being the case, Tabor plans to take his time arriving at a choice.
“I definitely want to do it probably at the Army Bowl or on signing day,” he said. “Those are probably my only two deadlines. If not the Army Bowl, definitely signing day.”