Ex-Michigan State DB Watts-Jackson joining Air Force

The Sports Xchange

July 06, 2018 at 2:50 pm.

Jalen Watts-Jackson always will have a place in Michigan State history, but now he’s ready to move on from football.

Watts-Jackson said in March that he hoped to continue his college career as a graduate transfer, but now has decided to go in a much different direction.

“I am going into the Air Force,” Watts-Jackson told SpartanNation.com. “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.”

As a 5-foot-11, 184-pound freshman defensive back in 2015, Watts-Jackson scooped up a mishandled punt and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to give the Spartans a 27-23 walk-off victory over rival Michigan.

However, Watts-Jackson sustained a broken hip during the ensuing celebration and his career with the Spartans never took off. The rest of his playing time in East Lansing, Mich., consisted of nine games in 2016. He made three tackles and returned a punt 13 yards.

Watts-Jackson, a native of Detroit, plans to become an Air Force officer in the field of cyber systems operation and security.