Sky Zone Jump In to Give: Jalen Wilkerson

In addition to his on-the-field exploits at Coffee High School, Jalen Wilkerson is active in both his community and in extracurricular activities at school. One of his favorite ways to contribute is serving as a Right Track Mentor, in which he speaks to elementary and junior high students every other week. Wilkerson makes a point of emphasizing the importance of staying in school and prioritizing academics to get a good education.

“It has been a great opportunity for me to give back to the community,” Wilkerson explained. “I especially like talking to kids who live in single-parent homes and may not have as many opportunities right now as other kids. I try to give them hope and I make sure to stress the importance of putting academics ahead of other possible distractions.”

This semester at school, Wilkerson is a member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. FCCLA is a nonprofit organization for young men and women in family and consumer science education across the United States. It is the only in-school student organization with the family as its central focus.

Speaking of family, one interesting dynamic on both the Coffee squad and the South team at the Elite Junior Classic is that Wilkerson and his brother—quarterback Tyree Paulk—are teammates. Both players were named to the All-Region 1-AAAAAA First Team. Paulk passed for 1,693 yards and one of his favorite targets, not surprisingly, was Wilkerson. The Trojans did not make the playoffs, but they ended the 2013 campaign on a high note by clobbering Valdosta 38-17 on Nov. 8. In that contest, Paul and Wilkerson hooked up for a 41-yard touchdown pass and catch that put Coffee ahead 31-17 just before halftime.

Wilkerson endured a scary moment during an Oct. 11 game against Brunswick. Having already dealt with a minor neck problem earlier in his career, the tight end suffered another neck injury and was actually airlifted via helicopter to a nearby hospital. It was a precautionary measure and the injury did not prove to be serious.

“I didn’t let it affect me,” Wilkerson assured. “I got out of the hospital on Saturday and was back on the field on Monday.”


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