A.J. Alexander Setting the Pace

Speed, speed and more speed. Every football program in the country is looking to add prospects that have speed. A.J. Alexander of Altoona Area High School (Altoona, Pa.) demonstrated that he has what everyone wants by running consecutive 4.3 forty-yard dashes last February at the Scout.com All-American Combine at the University of Pittsburgh.

As the Notre Dame staff beings to set its priorities for the 2008 recruiting class, one player that is certain to be toward the top of that list is A.J. Alexander (5-foot-10, 195 pounds).

"I get a lot of letters from them, a lot of hand-written letters," Alexander responded when asked if Notre Dame had been in contact with him. "I get letters from Charlie Weis asking me to send my highlight tape after the season.

"I watch them because we have Notre Dame on all the time, and Penn State. I like the SEC because of the weather, but I really don't have a favorite team."

Alexander already has scholarship offers from Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Louisville and he's receiving attention from all of the top programs from the SEC, ACC and the Big Ten. A.J. has received numerous invitations to visit schools unofficially and he's taking full advantage of his opportunities.

"I went down to Georgia a couple weeks ago," Alexander explained. "I was a guest for the Tennessee game. It was pretty nice. I like the warm weather, but it was really hot. I can't imagine what it would be like in the summer because it was really hot.

"I've been to Pitt, Penn State, and I was supposed to go to Notre Dame for the UCLA game, but people backed out so I didn't end up going."

The quarterback in high school is often he best athlete on the team, so it's no surprise that Alexander takes the ball from center. When he moves to the next level he'd like to stay on the offensive side of the ball, although several schools believe he has the ability to be an elite defensive back.

"That what will probably be my deciding factor," Alexander said of the position he's being recruited to play. "I don't really want to play defense. When I talk to SEC schools I talk to their cornerback coaches. West Virginia says quarterback, because that's what I play now. Pitt and Penn State all the northern school want me to play receiver, so I'll probably end up staying up north."

Alexander has 1,000 rushing on approximately 80 attempts with15 touchdowns. He has nearly 400 passing yards. He has four kick-off returns for touchdowns.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories