If you ask anybody in the state of Michigan who Jalen Watts-Jackson is, you’ll likely get two very different reaction depending on whether their allegiance tilts toward Big Blue in Ann Arbor or Michigan State in East Lansing. After all, the former defensive back from Detroit was responsible for one of the most memorable plays in college football history when he scooped up a fumbled punt against Michigan and captured an improbable win in walk-off fashion for the Spartans:
While he’ll never have to buy a meal or drink around East Lansing ever again thanks just to that play, Watts-Jackson’s career after crossing the goal line at the Big House has never gotten back on track. He had to undergo surgery after fracturing his hip in the aftermath of the play and played in just 15 games the past two seasons before announcing a graduate transfer in the spring.
Now we know where Watts-Jackson is headed: Air Force. Only he won’t be in Colorado Springs to play football, but rather to become an officer in the military.
“I am going into the Air Force. I was raised that it is a good idea to serve your country. I have family members that have served this county including my dad. So I am excited to serve this nation,” Watts-Jackson told SpartanNation.com on, quite fittingly, the 4th of July. “My focus is going to be on Cyber System Operations and security. I am taking classes right now to get all of my (computer security) certifications. I have been thinking about it for some time now.”
Congrats to Watts-Jackson on his new pursuit at the Academy, something even Michigan fans will be able to applaud him for even if it brings up a few bad memories from 2015.