Texas Football: Arkansas transfer S Jalen Catalon set for visit to Austin

Jalen Catalon (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Jalen Catalon (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images /

What looks to be the first NCAA Transfer Portal visit of 2023 for the Texas football program is now in place. According to a report from Gerry Hamilton of Inside Texas on Dec. 31 (paid content), Texas is set to host the former four-star recruit and Arkansas Razorbacks redshirt junior safety Jalen Catalon on a visit to Austin next weekend.

Texas is reportedly joining the likes of the Ole Miss Rebels, SMU Mustangs, and Texas A&M Aggies among the potential favorite destinations for Catalon out of the transfer portal this offseason.

Ole Miss and SMU were named as two of the early favorites after Catalon first surfaced in the transfer portal on Dec. 16. And it didn’t originally look as if Texas would pursue Catalon out of the portal.

Moreover, it looks as if Catalon joins the former Syracuse Orange redshirt sophomore transfer safety Ja’Had Carter as the top portal targets at the position for the Longhorns.

Texas football sets up a visit with Arkansas transfer S Jalen Catalon

But it already seemed as if Carter was trending to the Ohio State Buckeyes over the Longhorns out of the portal in the last week or so. Catalon could now be the next big safety target to watch for Texas out of the portal as the offseason has officially arrived following the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

Texas was one of the top schools for Catalon during his recruitment out of Mansfield Legacy High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. But former Texas head coach Tom Herman and his staff weren’t ultimately able to seal the deal with Catalon and he wound up picking Arkansas as his college of choice.

Catalon made an immediate impact on that Arkansas defense. He was one of the best safeties in the SEC as a sophomore during the 2020 season. But then, injuries started to diminish the potential of Catalon with the Razorbacks in the last couple of years.

In the last two seasons, Catalon played in just seven games for the Razorbacks as he’s dealt with a myriad of upper-body injuries. In his four years playing for the Hogs, Catalon registered 159 combined tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions (one that was returned for a touchdown), nine pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

If Catalon is healthier now, though, Texas would obviously be getting an impactful addition to this secondary.

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Catalon enters the portal with two years of eligibility remaining if he ultimately decides to use either an injury redshirt or if he takes advantage of the COVID-19 redshirt year for the 2020 campaign.