Jalen McMillan announces decision on future with Washington
Jalen McMillan has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.
The standout Washington wide receiver spent four seasons with the Huskies. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2022 and looked well on his way to another outstanding season in 2023 before an injury in the Michigan State game took him out of the lineup and hampered him for much of the rest of the year.
Given the situation, there was some speculation about whether McMillan would return for a final year in 2024 in order to boost his draft stock. In a message shared on social media Wednesday, McMillan said goodbye.
“It’s been one hell of a ride and as I begin my NFL journey, I will forever represent Husky Nation and the University of Washington in a manner you’ll be proud of,” he wrote.
Seattle will always be home. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/ngLlu8v0xc
— J MAC (@jalenmcmillan20) January 11, 2024
McMillan is the second piece of Washington’s big three receiver trio to declare for the draft, joining Ja’Lynn Polk. Rome Odunze, viewed as one of the top overall players in the draft class, is widely expected to enter the draft as well.
Washington will return Germie Bernard and Giles Jackson next season, and the 2024 class will bring Cal transfer Jeremiah Hunter into the fold, but the guys walking out the door will be tough to replace.
The 6-foot-1 McMillan had 79 receptions for 1,098 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2022 season. Through the first two games of the 2023 campaign, he put up 215 yards and three touchdowns on 16 receptions. In the first half against Michigan State in Week 3, he had four catches for 96 yards.
Then came the injury, and he missed a month. He tried to return against Oregon on Oct. 14 but was forced off the field. He again tried to play against Stanford two weeks later but labored through. He didn’t record another catch until the Apple Cup on Nov. 25, when he brought in five balls for 26 yards.
In the conference championship game against the Ducks on Dec. 1, McMillan finally looked healthy. He brought in nine receptions for 131 yards to help UW once again beat the Ducks. In the two CFP games for Washington, McMillan made 11 receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
He’ll leave UW with 2,143 career receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on 164 receptions.