PINSON, Ala. (BVM) — There is a boost of energy for both locker rooms time any time a high school football game is on national television. The buzz around the stadium feels a bit more amped, sometimes resulting in nerves, and other times creating the desire to go out and dominate.
For Clay-Chalkville’s Jaylen Mbakwe, it was the latter.
The Crimson Tide recruit shined on ESPN2 on Thursday night with a 268-yard, five-touchdown performance leading the Cougars over Thompson High School in a 36-33 victory.
— Charles Power (@CharlesPower) September 29, 2023
It was also Mbakwe’s 18th birthday.
QB Jaylen Mbakwe (Clay-Chalkville) on his birthday tonight. Alabama commitment with 5 TDs in the 36-33 win over Thompson. pic.twitter.com/NuyTZJAtwX
— Alabama6AFootball (@AL6AFootball) September 29, 2023
“This is most definitely number one,” Mbakwe told Nick Alvarez of Alabama.com on where this birthday ranks for him. “Going out with five touchdowns, playing for my dad and grandad on our birthday, having an o-line behind me to do it together.”
The Alabama high school star is viewed as one of the best athletes in the country, ranking as the No. 4 player in the nation in the class of 2024 according to ESPN.
Mbakwe shined as a receiver as a junior, but the dynamic playmaker was moved to quarterback this season. The position change has worked out tremendously so far for Clay-Chalkville as it is 6-0 on the year.
— Touchdown Alabama Recruiting (@TDARecruiting) September 29, 2023
Outside of the eye-popping numbers from Thursday night, he was also efficient with the football, completing 10 of his 13 pass attempts.
It is unlikely that Mbakwe will play quarterback when he gets to Tuscaloosa, but it is just a feather in his cap showing how versatile of a player he is.
He has also dominated as a cornerback throughout his high school career, giving Nick Saban and the Alabama coaching staff another option for when he gets to campus.
But before he does, Mbakwe will have the opportunity to lead Clay-Chalkville to a special season in his final year.