By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Jalen Julius, a versatile athlete from Orlando, Fla., was one of the many high school players in Oxford this past weekend on an official visit. Hosted by Laquon Treadwell, Julius’ time on campus went very well.
“I had a great time, it was one of the funnest visits I’ve had,” said Julius in between class at West Orange High School Tuesday afternoon. “I liked how the players interact with the coaching staff.”
Another highlight of the visit was watching Ole Miss defeat Florida in men’s basketball, calling it “a great experience.”
West Orange High School is a program that is coming off one of the best seasons in school history with an 11-1 record. Julius is being recruited to play slot wide receiver, as well as return punts and kickoffs. He has a lot of speed — Larry Blustein, the recruiting editor for the Miami Herald said Julius had legitimate high 4.4 speed.
Julius runs track and he played some cornerback, but not very much he added.
Notre Dame and Louisville, Julius said, were both great academic schools that both have great football programs. Those are the only schools that can compete with Ole Miss in regards to where he lands.
“Anywhere I go, I want to make a difference,” said Julius, who felt he would play as a true freshman at wide receiver. “My strengths are getting off of press coverage and being able to make plays with the ball in my hands.”
Julius, a one-time verbal pledge to Florida, said he was “probably” done with taking official visits, although there is only one weekend letter before players can start to sign on Feb. 4. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays on Jan. 18, Julius said he would visit Missouri Jan. 29-31.
Julius said he was going to make a decision and announce on signing day, somewhere in the late morning.
Wide receivers coach Grant Heard and defensive line coach Chris Kiffin are both in contact with the 5-foot-11 Julius.
Blustein saw Julius play cornerback, adding that he did have the speed to play the slot.
“As a need, I’m sure he would fit in there very well,” Blustein said. “He is very quick and athletic. The games I saw he played cornerback and he returned punts and kicks. He’s a very elusive type guy, and to me that makes a huge difference. West Orange had a really good year this year. They lost to Apopka in the first round, but they were undefeated and have a lot of talent. They played everybody and he’s one of the guys.”
Julius is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. ESPN has him rated higher as the 230th best player on their Top 300 list. He was listed as the No. 14 overall player on the Sentinel’s Top 60 list. For those that don’t know, the Sentinel is highly regarded for its annual ranking of recruits.