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"God had greater plans:" Pitre gears up for NFL Draft

AP All America Team Football
Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 23:40:57-04

WACO, Texas — It's hard to know exactly when Baylor safety Jalen Pitre went from an under-recruited high school student to a budding NFL star.

Maybe it was during the heat of spring practice as a freshman back in 2017. Maybe it was while breaking up passes in the Big 12 title game.

Either way, Pitre's transformation into one of the best defensive backs in college football will come full circle as he awaits his fate during the NFL Draft April 28-30.

"I never dreamed of going to the NFL," Pitre said. "I always dreamed of graduating college and getting my degree, but God had greater plans. So, like I said, I'm grateful to be here."

Pitre is one of more than a dozen former Baylor athletes hoping to hear their names called during the draft, which can be seen on 25 ABC. Among them, Pitre has the highest draft rating, with draft experts projecting he will be selected in the late first round or early second round.

If those experts are correct, Pitre would be the highest Baylor draft pick since Corey Coleman (1st round, 15th pick) and Xavien Howard (2nd round, 6th pick) were chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft. At that point, Pitre was not even a student at Baylor.

"I believe I'm the best out there," he said. "I believe I have the tool set, along with the mentality to make plays and make tackles. And I'm just trying to relay that to the coaches and to the executive staff on those NFL teams as well. So, hopefully they can choose me pretty early, because I think I'm the best."

The NFL Draft kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday night on 25 ABC.