The Maryland coaches were able to pull in a couple star defensive lineman from Virginia Beach in the 2017 class, and now area recruiter Chris Beatty has one targeted in the 2018 crop. Jalen Alexander, a 6-foot-4, 275-pounder from Western Branch High, landed his third overall offer from Beatty and the Terps during a campus visit Feb. 4.
“I thought very highly of the offer. It was my first Big Ten offer, and Maryland is one of the schools I can see myself being with the next four, five years,” said Alexander, who previously held looks from NC State and ODU. “Even before I visited, there was just something about Maryland that really caught my eye. I can’t say what it was exactly, but the offer was definitely an exciting one for me.”
Feb. 4, which was the Terps’ first major prospect day this offseason, afforded Alexander to see the school for the first time. He’d wanted to head up anyway, so when Beatty invited he and his father to College Park, Md., Alexander jumped at the opportunity.
“At the visit what stood out is the coaches treated me like family up there. They treated me like another player on the team, not just some recruit,” Alexander said. “So that made it really seam like a good potential fit. I know my dad thought highly of Maryland and the coaches too.”
During the stay, Alexander spoke to defensive coordinator Andy Buh, head coach DJ Durkin and Beatty. New defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh wasn’t in town yet, but Alexander allowed he’d heard good things and would like to meet him on the recruit’s return trip.
“With Coach Beatty, he’s from the 757, my city, and we talk like we’re two regular people. That really makes a difference. We relate really well,” Alexander said. “And Coach Durkin and Coach Buh showed a lot of love, said I could be a great fit in their system, and I was a big priority for them. That meant a lot coming from the head coach.”
The Western Branch plugger mentioned the soon-to-be completed facility upgrades grabbed his attention as well.
“The new weight room renovations and the new fields they’re putting in are awesome. That was very impressive,” Alexander said. “And the overall feel of the city was great. I really liked it up there.”
Alexander also interacted with a couple 2017 signees, although he has not met fellow 757 natives Breyon and Brandon Gaddy. That said, Alexander is well aware the twins just inked Letters of Intent with UMD.
“Getting those two shows that Maryland is drawing kids from down here, and if I went there I could play alongside kids I played against and am friends with,” Alexander said. “That was big for Maryland. So it plays a part in my thinking – not a big part, but it is a factor.”
Alexander plans to return to College Park for a spring practice or the spring game. He’ll be at WVU Feb. 11, and after that will hit UNC; Rutgers; and Tennessee.
“And I’m really hoping Clemson offers,” said Alexander, who is receiving interest from WVU, Pitt, UNC, Tennessee, Va Tech and Temple. “That’s been my dream school for awhile now.”