Jalen started the 2016 NFL season as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Oakland Raiders. He had no contract and no guarantees. After a productive training camp and pre-season, he earned a spot on Oakland’s 53-man active roster. That is so unbelievably hard to do. Undrafted rookie free agent. That means you are just a body…nothing more. Teams literally bring you in to practice against the people who actually matter. After training camp, undrafted free agents return home battered, beaten and unemployed. Apparently, Jalen didn’t see it that way. He saw a sliver of hope when the Raiders invited him to training camp….and then he proceeded to kick the door down.
After the season ended, I got a call from Ray. He asked me to train Jalen. I said, “NO”. I wanted nothing to do with training professional athletes anymore. That had been my life for damn near a decade and I had zero desire to go back. I had trained over a hundred professional athletes. I had been offered positions with pro teams and elite universities. I had been offered opportunities to train the best basketball players from across the globe. I chose to walk away from that world when I was in the middle of taking it over. In my eyes, I had nothing left to prove. I also had nothing left to gain. Ray knew my story and my stance. Regardless, he called and asked me to work with Jalen again. Ray prodded, “One time, KJ. You can help this kid.” I was tired of pushing back and conceded, “He gets one chance, bro.” I thought I was Saint Fucking Nick for that concession. Ray responded, “Bet” and swiftly hung up. You see, Ray was my homie. He knew I was pissed about giving this whole thing a shot, but he had also just gotten the answer he wanted. He was sure to hurry his ass off the phone before I gained my moment of clarity.