Getting to Know: Quarterback Signee Jalen Kitna

Dec 24, 2020 | 0 comments

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Jalen Kitna‍ is one of two signal-callers the Gators coaching staff took for the 2021 class. The pro-style quarterback out of Burleson, Texas looks to outwork everyone and build close relationships with his teammates once he arrives in Gainesville as an early enrollee. Kitna, as you may know, is the son of former NFL quarterback and coach Jon Kitna.

And while Jalen is grateful for his dad and all of his guidance both on and off the field, the Florida signee is looking to carve his own path to greatness. You’ll find out that and more in this edition of Getting to Know.


Take us through the process that led to your commitment. What was that experience like for you?
“I was originally committed to Boston College and they got re-staffed at the beginning of the year, I think it was actually January 1st, so I de-committed. Shortly after that, Coach [Dan] Mullen and Coach [Brian] Johnson came up and offered me. It was really cool from the start because at the time, my dad was coaching Dak Prescott as quarterbacks coach. Obviously, Dak knows Coach Mullen pretty well. He knows his philosophy and his character.

“I fell in love with Florida because they were real with me. Coach Mullen is always going to be very upfront with you, and very real, which I appreciate a lot. Coach Johnson is a great coach, and he has a great mind. He’s a man of very few, but important words. I’m excited. I get more and more excited about Florida every day.”

Which school came in second for you and why?
“I was really choosing between Florida and Oregon State. Oregon State runs a pro-style offense, which is what I’m best at and the kind of offense I want to be in. They develop quarterbacks there, and I have good relationship with their coaches.

“However, Florida is a great program and I really liked the coaches as well, and I really thought that this offense is going to be something special, which clearly it was this year. I thought that this is really the perfect opportunity, at a place like Florida, to show my talents. I’m not the highest-rated recruit, and it’s been a crazy road for me, but I think that this is where I need to be: at Florida, playing at the highest level.”

Do you have an interesting story about Dan Mullen that you can tell me?
“Well, I was in contact with him a whole lot before I committed and we were talking a lot. I went on a virtual visit over Zoom back in May. I really loved it and all that stuff, so I was going to commit. So I FaceTime Coach Mullen, and he’s chillin’ on the lake with his wife.

“I think she said more than he did when I committed. Mama Mullen is so sweet. She’s great and so cool. I feel like they’re such a family at Florida, which is something I really like.”

What would you say are some of your greatest strengths as a football player?
“I was a bit of a late bloomer, like I think coming into high school I was maybe 130 pounds my freshman year of football. Played sophomore year at 150 and just small and kinda slow. Every year has been such a big year for me, not just physically but developing into my body and being more athletic, but also mentally. I still have a lot of potential in growing and I’m just now filling out. Every year, I think I’ve put on 25 pounds, and I think junior year I ran a 5.14 and this year I ran a 4.69.

“I’m still developing which Is a strength. I’m going to develop under Coach [Nick] Savage in the weight room, and my ability to throw as well with the coaches. Another strength is my ability to know the offense. I’ve always known the answers. I may not have been the best athlete a few years ago, but I was able to make plays because I knew the offense better than anyone inside and out so I can always be reliable when the ball is in my hands.”

Who is the prospect that you have talked to the most from the Class of 2020?
“I’ve talked to Donovan McMillon the most. We’re some of the only guys who aren’t from Florida or Georgia, so were kind of outsiders, and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. He’s a pretty cool guy.




What would be your first purchase if you got drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft?
“I’d probably put a down payment on a house so I’m established, but outside of necessities, I’d probably get myself a good car. I’d probably need one at that point.”

Who has been the biggest role model for you in your life? Why?
“My dad is my biggest role model for sure. Not a lot can say that, but my dad has been so big in my life, not just because of his experience in football, but just the way that he’s developed me into a man.

“This past year it’s been a treat just becoming who I am and the man of God I was meant to be. It’s a long road but he’s been my rock. He’s been my greatest encouragement and he’s seen things in me I’ve never seen in myself. I’m so thankful for him. He’s really seen what I can be. He’s worked his tail off to get to where he is now, and he sees the results. He’s awesome and just so great at developing men. Such a blessing.”

What are your favorite types of music? Do you have a favorite artist or song?
“I’m really big into rap and R&B. I listen to Drake and Lil Baby and Lil Uzi. My favorite rapper is Lil Wayne. For R&B, I like Brent Faiyaz and Bryson Tiller.”

What is your favorite movie?
“I’m pretty old school. I like Disney movies. I don’t know. I’d have to go with The Incredibles or something that. I grew up with those movies, and I still love them.”

If you could meet one person in the world, who would that be?
“I think I would probably meet Aaron Rodgers. I think that he’s obviously great and football but he’s also an interesting person.”

If you a chance to go on a dream date, who would it be with?
“I’d probably go with my girlfriend. She’s just great, and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.”

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“I see myself getting drafted and going to the league. I think a lot of people going into college want the same thing. I’m willing to put in the work because that’s always been my dream. I want to affect people both on and off the field. I have a lot to teach and a lot to give, and I want to help people out any way I can.”

What are three things on your bucket list?
“I want to go skydiving.”
“I want to go to Greece.”
“I still want to go surfing. I’ve done other stuff like wakeboarding, but I’ve never been surfing.”

What is one thing about you that the Gator Nation would be surprised to find out about?
“I think I’m just a lot different from your typical quarterback. I’m not super big into talk. I’m more about work and doing the best for the people around me. I value personal relationships over being that loud voice. It makes people respect you more when you have less to say and more to show.






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