MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis is well known for its basketball program. And over the last several years, that program has gone hand in hand with the name Travis — as in the Travis family.
The final of three sons is taking his turn on the court this year, but he has decided his future is in a different sport.
Take a look at Jalen Travis. You can see why all the colleges do. A 6-foot-8-inch tackle. He is growing into his frame, and has grown to love football.
“Football really became my first sport I’d say, transitioning from my sophomore to junior year. I was given my first varsity start as a sophomore, and really high expectations going into that season from coaching staff,” Travis said.
A little background. His older brother, Reid, was a great quarterback. He gave up football his senior season so he could concentrate on basketball, and he was very good. So good, he signed and played at a high level for Stanford. He went on as a grad transfer last year, and finished out at his career at the University of Kentucky.
His oldest brother, Jonah, played at Harvard, and served as a role model to them.
And Jalen is himself a hooper. He was part of a state championship team, so many thought that would be his sport.
“I want to play football, especially after that sophomore-junior year season, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is going to end up being for me, that’s the way I want to go,’” Jalen said. “They didn’t take it too well at first, and they were like, ‘Oh, are you sure that’s what you want to do?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I love the game.’”
But he’s still a Travis, and at DeLaSalle High School that means something; to be an athlete, and more.
“When you get an opportunity to coach one of the Travis kids, it’s always a blessing,” said DeLaSalle football coach CJ Hallman. “They’re hardworking, they’re great leaders, they step up, they do everything that you need to do. They’re really locked in.”
Like his brothers, he has been heavily recruited, and he has had the benefit of watching and listening to what they went through in deciding on a college. And they’ve told him.
“Do what you love most,” Jalen said. “Do what your heart tells you to do.”
Whoever lands him will get a big kid with potential, and with a heart — and that matters.
“Jalen is a, he’s a tough cookie,” Hallman said. “He’s also a very vocal leader, and so what I always get out of him … what I expect is hard work every snap. He’s got to play all the way until the whistle.”
Sit with him and you realize he’s thought it all through, and he knows where he wants to go, because he knows what this sports has done for him.
“It teaches me, like, if I get punched in the mouth, get up,” Jalen said. “Especially with that more physical aspect of it, because on the line, basically, we’re battling every play with the guy in front of us. Some plays we’re going to get beat, so just making sure to respond to that.”