Jaylen Pickle — the 6 foot 4 inches, 313-pound junior defensive tackle from Cimarron, Kansas — really started to shine for the Wildcats during the 2020 season.
With no recorded statistics after redshirting in 2018 and just one game against Bowling Green in 2019, Pickle made the most of what was basically his first year on the field with Kansas State.
Pickle recorded 10 tackles, three pass breakups and a half tackle for loss in his eight games in 2020, including two starts against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Perhaps his most impressive performance was in that first start against the Sooners.
In the upset victory over No. 3 ranked Oklahoma, Pickle had a career-high four tackles and a crucial tipped pass resulting in an interception on the first drive of the game for the Sooners.
While he may not have been credited for it, Pickle helped senior defensive end Kirmari Gainous with a solid sack against Texas Tech this past year in the video below.
— Mitchel Summers (@WIBWMitchel) October 3, 2020
Coming out of Cimarron High School, Pickle was the third-best prospect in the state of Kansas during 2018 recruitment, as well as Rivals 44th-best high school defensive tackle in the nation. His stats show why he was highly regarded, recording 50 tackles and 4.0 sacks his senior year.
Not only was Pickle a football star at Cimarron, but he was also an all-state basketball player with the Bluejays — and he could definitely hoop.
Cimarron's Jaylen Pickle (@JayPickk) might be built like a defensive tackle but he can get up. pic.twitter.com/Em2oGOakPg
— Dodge Globe Sports (@DodgeSportsGuy) December 11, 2016
Pickle is currently studying business administration at K-State.
With the defensive line losing players like Wyatt Hubert and Drew Wiley heading into next season, Pickle has acknowledged the need to step up and take on a leadership role at the position.
“I think I’ve improved the most in my leadership skills,” Pickle said during a K-State football spring press conference in March. “We have a lot of young guys coming in this spring. I’ve been a better leader on and off the field. I’ve definitely grown in that aspect of football.”
Stay on the lookout for Pickle as a prominent player on the defensive line come September.