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Giving up football to join Air Force, Jalen Watts-Jackson embraces legacy at Michigan State

Jalen Watts-Jackson was more than 2,000 miles from home.

After visiting a former teammate in Los Angeles, he was waiting to board a flight at LAX in June when his Michigan State carry-on bag caught the attention of another passenger in line.

The stranger started a conversation by asking if Watts-Jackson played football for the Spartans. Then he made the connection to the name.

"He just started hugging me," Watts-Jackson recalled with a laugh. "It was the silliest thing ever."

An embrace from a stranger at an airport is actually not unusual for Watts-Jackson. That's because he returned a fumbled punt for a touchdown as time expired in Michigan State's improbable 27-23 win at Michigan in 2015.