Add Jalen Nailor to the list of Michigan State football players leaving for the NFL draft.
The redshirt junior wide receiver announced via Twitter on Monday that he plans to forego his remaining eligibility to turn pro, less than a week after he returned from a hand injury that cost him the final four games of the regular season.
Nailor led the 10th-ranked Spartans with 108 receiving yards on six catches – including a dazzling, spinning, one-handed grab for 50 yards – in their 31-21 Peach Bowl win over No. 10 Pitt on Thursday. The 6-foot, 190-pound Palmdale, California, native finished the season with 695 yards and six touchdowns in 37 catches in nine games.
Michigan State wide receiver Jalen Nailor celebrates a first down during the second half of the 31-21 win over Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.
“I look back to our bowl preparation, I feel I was in great rhythm with him, hitting him on the deep balls,” quarterback Payton Thorne said Thursday of Nailor. “The timing was right, and tonight, he played well. … In fourth quarter, he made
a couple of key catches, and he’s a guy that you can rely on.”
Nailor joins running back Kenneth Walker III, offensive lineman Kevin Jarvis and tight end Connor Heyward in leaving MSU for the April NFL draft with eligibility remaining.
In four seasons, Nailor played in every game only once, the seven-game 2020 campaigned which was shortened due to COVID. He suffered a foot injury that cost him all but four games in 2019 and took a redshirt. And in 2018 as a true freshman, Nailor missed five games with an undisclosed injury.
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In 28 career games, Nailor made 86 catches for 1,454 yards…