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Jalen McCleskey fired up to sign with hometown Saints

Tulane wide receiver Jalen McCleskey catches game-winning pass to defeat Houston.
Tulane wide receiver Jalen McCleskey catches game-winning pass to defeat Houston.(Lance Washington (custom credit) | Lance Washington)
Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 12:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It was a rainy day, on a drive across one of the longest bridges in the world, that Jalen McCleskey got the call from the Saints he had been waiting for.

“As I was driving on the Causeway, they actually called me and said we want to sign you. We’re going to send you over all the stuff, things like that and I actually called my dad immediately,” said Jalen McCleskey.

It’s the kind of story only a local New Orleans kid would understand. McCleskey is the son of former Saint JJ McCleskey.

He played his high school ball at St. Paul’s in Covington. Then went to Oklahoma State, and finally grad transferred to Tulane.

McCleskey spent last season as an undrafted rookie with the Falcons. Only to now land with the team he grew up idolizing.

“It doesn’t feel real just yet. It is crazy but I feel like once a kind of get into the building more and start going through meetings, I feel like it will hit me more,” said McCleskey.

And he knows just how much New Orleans love their team. Also, how much they love their homegrown talent. Though, a roster spot isn’t guaranteed, McCleskey is eager to get to work.

“It’s still going to be fun playing for the Saints. I know how passionate the fans are always growing up being a Saints fan. So I know first hand from being a fan how passionate everyone is. So, I just can’t wait to get to practice, meetings, and get chemistry down with the guys and get to work.

As for following in his father’s footsteps, the younger McCleskey insists he feels no pressure.

I don’t really feel a shadow. He played defensive back, and we played two different positions. I just go out there, and I don’t really worry about stuff like that. I just go out there, go to work, and do what I know I can do,” said McCleskey.

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