“Good decision” – Titans’ Jaylon Guilbeau finds fit at Texas
With all of the top schools in the nation knocking at his door, Memorial cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau made the decision to stay in his home state and wear burnt orange for the Texas Longhorns.
The highly coveted junior defensive back made his selection Sunday after narrowing his choice down to Texas, Alabama, Louisiana State, Penn State and Oregon earlier this year.
“UT had been recruiting me hard throughout the pandemic,” Guilbeau told The News. “During COVID, most of the coaches had stopped, but they did their job. I have a good relationship with the coaches there.”
That persistence landed the Longhorns the 4-star recruit, who is one of the top 200 players in the nation according to Rivals.com.
Guilbeau grew up a fan of the LSU Tigers, but decided that Texas was the better fit.
“(LSU) was where my mom wanted me to go,” he said. “I told her had to make a good decision. I feel like I made a good decision, and this is where God wanted me to be.”
Guilbeau said he wants to be part of a defensive back resurgence at Texas, bringing the program back to the mid-2000s when Michael Huff, Aaron Ross and Michael Griffin roamed the defensive secondary for the Longhorns. All three were first-round picks and Huff and Ross won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
“Texas is home,” he said. “It ain’t too far. It ain’t too close. I wanted to leave, but not go too far. I didn’t want to leave my parents. That is who I am doing it for, so that they can get out of the city.”
Memorial coach Brian Morgan said Guilbeau is one of the team’s leaders.
“Jaylon is a high-character leader,” Morgan said. “He is a high-energy guy. He is a good football player, obviously. He does things right on and off the field. He is a guy you will really enjoy. If you know him, he has a great personality and you want to be around him.”
Guilbeau said his outlook comes from his love of football.
“My grandma passed,” he said. “This is something I do for her, too. I try to be a team leader. Off the field, I hit the books. I have to get my grades right. Football comes next.”
The defensive back’s sticky coverage makes opposing quarterbacks hesitant to throw his way. Last year, Guilbeau finished the season with two interceptions, which he said is a testament to his coverage skills.
“This year, I am hoping I get more,” he said. “I’m a press-type man. I like being in your face. I want to put my hands on you. Most people don’t really like throwing the ball when they see a man in press because it’s a tight window.”
He said this year he wants to work on baiting quarterbacks into throwing his way.
“When we play PNG, I’m trying to have at least two picks in the first game,” he said.
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