A.J. Alexander didn't make the necessary SAT score last month to qualify and arrive at Florida State with the rest of his 2008 recruiting class. After retaking a physics class in summer school Alexander made the necessary grade, making him qualified to enroll at FSU. Alexander says he's very excited.
"I'm packing right now," said Alexander. "I'm excited to get down there with the rest of my class and to start the next chapter of my life."
For athletes clearing that last hurdle in the classroom can be a stressful thing to go through. A.J. told NoleDigest that he knew he'd make the grade. The fact that some people doubted him made Alexander much more motivated to make the grade.
"I wasn't nervous about it," explained Alexander. "As long as I made it to the class I knew I wasn't going to have a problem. It seemed like going into summer school a lot of people doubted me. It made me extra motivated to get the grade I needed. With people around here, and with reading message boards on the internet, people were just acting crazy. It's funny now because now that I did something positive everyone's like great job and way to go. That's one reason I want to leave Altoona. It'd be a lot different if I was staying home to play in college."
The majority of summer workouts are complete, but Alexander says that he's ready to come in and get to work. While he isn't sure what to expect, the conversations he's had with his future teammates has helped.
"The first thing I'm going to do when I get there is go to Shoney's," joked Alexander. I love it there (laughs). I just can't wait to get with my team. I've been talking to some guys so I know what they've been up to, but I want to focus on getting stronger and faster. I'm going to go in, work, and do my best."
Going into the class A.J. needed to boost his letter grade. Throughout the summer Alexander's mom has been in touch with the coaches as they tracked his progress through the class.
"My mom has been in constant contact with the coaches so they know what's going on," stated Alexander. They're excited about me getting the grade. I got the "A" so that boosts my GPA enough to match my SAT score. I was told that's all I needed so everything should be clear now. I'm just ready to get there and get to work.
Fall camp is coming up in a few weeks, and that is when things start to get serious for the football team. A.J. said he still doesn't know for sure where he'll be playing, but he's ready to play wherever the coaches need him.
"My main goal is just to get ready for camp," said Alexander. Again I just don't know what to expect when I get there. Once I get used to the heat I think I will be fine. That first week is going to be tough. My mom already joked with me I'm not coming home (laughs). I can't wait. My neighbors just hung up a Florida Gator flag so I may have to spray-paint that before I go!"
When talking to Alexander one can sense the relief and excitement he is feeling. Regardless of how his recruitment went and the doubt if he'd make the grade, Alexander is a good kid who dealt with some local pressure to stay home. Now he's cleared that last bump in the road and is focused on making the best of the opportunity waiting for him at FSU. Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track A.J.'s freshmen season, as well as all of the 2008 signees progress during their freshman year.