HOUSTON — It was night time when Houston Texans second-round decide Jalen Pitre was in his childhood bed room, finding out movie.
Jalen’s mom, DeVita, was sitting on a black sofa in the lounge explaining why her multimillion-dollar son had determined to reside together with his dad and mom after being drafted in April.
The backstory facilities round Jalen asking DeVita to go looking on-line on his behalf, as he was unfamiliar with dwelling possession. As she was about to disclose the costs she found, Jalen’s dad, Rick, leaned over and playfully interrupted DeVita.
“She’s going round in circles,” Rick stated as DeVita giggled. “Aye man! Lower to the chase. Jalen’s low cost! He ain’t finna be flashy. He desires to look good, don’t get me flawed, however Jalen ain’t finna get off the airplane with no mink coat.”
DeVita and Rick instantly burst out laughing.
The Pitres reside roughly 20 minutes from NRG Stadium, the place the Texans play. It’s the identical home the place Jalen and his brother, Jerick, have grown up since 2000.
So even after the 23 year-old signed a four-year, $8.9 million deal, with a $3.6 million signing bonus, Jalen knew he was “staying on the crib.”
The costs DeVita found for the kind of dwelling Jalen was desirous about have been round $10,000 per thirty days, which made staying together with his dad and mom financially helpful.
“He was like, ‘Oh no, I am not finna give them folks that form of cash,’” DeVita stated.
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Shortly after, Jalen strolled into the household room after he completed finding out and confirmed the rumors.
“Yeah, that’s fairly correct,” Jalen stated with a smile. “I am going to spend my cash. However for essentially the most half, I attempt to be slightly accountable. So, sure, I might say I’m slightly low cost. My dad and mom all the time instructed me that their doorways are all the time open and to take my time earlier than selecting someplace.”
Jalen does not plan on shifting till he finds a house that makes monetary sense for him. However within the meantime, he enjoys with the ability to spend time together with his dad and mom in the lounge, the place they used to observe throwback motion pictures equivalent to “Dangerous Boys” or their favourite sitcom, “Martin.”
That lounge is the place Jalen, Rick and Jerick, who’s 15 months older than Jalen, would watch sports activities collectively. Jalen wasn’t a diehard fan of any crew rising up, however he developed favourite gamers just like the late Kobe Bryant and Reggie Bush, who caught his youthful eye when Bush received the Heisman at USC. Bush can also be why Jalen wears No. 5.
However though they lived in Houston, the family wasn’t mad when the Texans handed on Bush to pick out defensive finish Mario Williams No. 1 general in the course of the 2006 draft. Rick was a New Orleans Saints fan on the time, so it was a win-win state of affairs when the Saints took Bush with the No. 2 decide.
However Jalen nonetheless grew an affection for a particular participant from the hometown crew. When Jalen was a working again in his youthful days, he modeled his sport after Bush and Arian Foster.
However Jalen was candid about his working again abilities.
“At one level, my favourite participant was Arian Foster,” Jalen stated of the Texans’ all-time main rusher. “However to be sincere, I actually wasn’t that good at working again. Like, I used to be good, nevertheless it wouldn’t have gone too far. I most likely would not have been in a position to be a NFL working again. Not an opportunity.”
As an alternative, Jalen earned his technique to a beginning security place with the Texans, and the 2021 Large 12 Defensive Participant of the 12 months at Baylor completed with 15 tackles by way of his first two video games towards the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
However it’s not daily that you just hear about an NFL participant dwelling in his childhood dwelling. And though there was renovation through the years, the go searching the home and the way his dad and mom deal with Jalen are the identical.
There isn’t any curfew for Jalen, and he admitted that there is not “even a cause to as a result of I am normally in the home, asleep actually early.”
The room that Jalen now sleeps in has turn into slightly cramped together with his Baylor soccer gear, however not a lot has modified for him.
The format of the room stays the identical, and when he goes by way of his morning routine, it is fairly much like when he attended Stafford Excessive College.
He wakes up at 5 a.m. for observe, will get dressed and hops on the interstate for a 20-minute journey to the power in the identical automotive that he acquired from his dad and mom in his sophomore yr of school.
Due to his early mornings, nonetheless, Jalen not often sees his dad and mom earlier than he makes that journey, as issues stay related for them as effectively. DeVita has been a financial institution teller for 21 years, and Rick has labored for UPS as a truck driver for 28.
When Jalen arrives dwelling from observe within the night, he normally solely sees his mother. They’ll chat as he’ll take heed to his mom discuss work and poke enjoyable at her for complaining.
However two childhood mainstays have altered.
One, they not often discuss soccer.
“We do not like stressing him out,” Rick stated. “The NFL is simply a lot.”
The shortage of soccer discussions at dwelling helps Jalen cope with the every day rigors of the NFL.
“It calms my nerves quite a bit,” Jalen stated. “I simply come dwelling and chill prefer it’s highschool, it is no stress. Not many questions on soccer stuff.
“[It] reminds you of little league whenever you have been in class ball, enjoying highschool or center faculty, it simply will get a really old-school really feel to it. It makes you’re feeling like an actual child once more, and it is actual enjoyable.”
The opposite change revolves round meals.
They nonetheless have dinner collectively, however Jalen eats what he brings dwelling from the power. As a lot as he loves his mother’s cooking, particularly his favourite dish of oxtail, he is aware of he has to eat like knowledgeable athlete.
“My mother and my dad are nice cooks, and so they’ll throw down if we request it,” Jalen stated. “However I attempted to maintain that burden off of them. And I am additionally making an attempt to be slightly bit more healthy.”
Jalen’s eating regimen consists of no quick meals, cleaner forms of protein equivalent to fish and hen and considerably extra inexperienced greens and fruits.
Rick normally arrives dwelling round Jalen’s bedtime (9 p.m.), however generally the household will sit in the lounge, chat about life and reminisce.
And relating to reminiscing, it’s not possible for Jalen to not rekindle nostalgic ideas each time he returns dwelling from observe. When he enters the home from the storage, the sports activities reminiscences figuratively smack him within the face.
There are quite a few trophies from Jalen and Jerick’s youthful days.
There are additionally footage on the shelf from when Rick coached his sons’ AAU basketball crew, known as “In Ya Face,” within the sixth and seventh grades.
Two giant banners hold from the ceiling of the storage: Considered one of Jalen and one other of Jerick of their highschool soccer jerseys from 2016 when each starred at Stafford.
Regardless that Jalen’s dad and mom crack jokes about his perceived cheapness, they don’t permit Jalen to pay lease, or every other payments.
“I alleviated all of that,” Rick stated. “All I requested my children was one factor: Do your half and we are going to do ours.”
Jalen dwelling together with his dad and mom goes past him being frugal; it is a couple of household bond that brings him peace from the every day grind of the NFL.
However possibly subsequent offseason, Jalen and his mother will begin looking out the net once more for his first dwelling.