Whatever It Takes

Alabama Coach Mike Shula said that Earl Alexander, the outstanding athlete from Central High School in Phenix City, would start his Crimson Tide career as a quarterback. But Alexander knows there could be a change in those plans, and the young man is prepared for that.

"Whatever it takes for me to play as a freshman is what I want," said Earl Alexander from his home in Phenix City. "I will change position. And my preferred position if I change is wide receiver."

With Alabama possibly short on depth at wide receiver, that might be a good plan for both Alexander and the Crimson Tide. Quarterback is a tough position for a true freshman to get to play.

Alexander will be coming to Tuscaloosa for the second semester of summer school beginning July 9. He expects to hook up with a friend and possible competitor when he arrives. When Alexander made his recruiting visit in December he became good friends with wide receiver D.J. Hall and has stayed in touch with D.J. He said Hall has assured Alexander he will be in Tuscaloosa for the 2006 season.

Alexander is also friends with wide receivers Matt Caddell and Jonathan Lowe, a transfer from Mississippi State who was Alexander's high school teammate.

Alexander was definitely signed as a quarterback, and that is where he wants to start out and hopes to play. It is the only position the 6-4 3/4-inch, 210-pounder has ever played. But there is a long history of quarterbacks playing other positions at Bama. That's particularly true when the player can run a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, as can Alexander. He was also a sprinter on his track team and played basketball at Central.

Alexander, who has been loading books in the shipping department for the board of education this summer, has also been working out since being graduated from high school. "It's important to be in good physical condition so you can be mentally sharp in drills," he said. "I don't want to miss anything as far as being able to think and react instead of having to fight off fatigue."

As a senior Alexander accounted for over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns passing and over 500 yards and seven touchdowns rushing. In the season-opener last year against powerful Shaw of Columbus, Georgia, he had 11 rushes for 97 yards (including a 53-yard touchdown run) and was 8-13 for 109 yards passing (including a 62-yard TD pass) in Central's 20-11 upset win.

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