Shootin' the (Kool) Breeze

Forget the spin. Altoona, Pa., standout A.J. Alexander gives a first-person account of his recruitment, telling whether he really has a favorite, who he is visiting, how he got his nickname and much more.'s Cory James arranged this story.

When I was young, my dad always asked me if I wanted to do different things. I would say that I didn't want to and he always said that I thought I was too cool for everything. Since then, I got the nickname “Kool Breeze.” It kind of stuck and that is what most people call me so I just go with it.

I've heard from about 70 schools so far. I am getting text messages a lot from coaches every day. For example, yesterday we had to do a practice PSSA science test and my phone was in my locker for an hour and a half and it said I had 52 unread text messages, so I texted probably 20 of them back. I talk to coaches on the phone every day, probably like 10 coaches a day. My most recent was Coach Latina from Notre Dame earlier today. Coach Johnson from Georgia was up here today to watch me run track so that was cool. Also, Coach Trickett is supposed to be coming up tomorrow.

My days pretty much include school and track right now. I lift three times a week for track plus we have to run every day so that keeps me in shape. I don't plan on running track in college, but it is good to keep working on my speed and conditioning in the football off-season.

We are leaving for Penn relays Thursday through Saturday. On Friday I have an interview with Tom Lemming in my hotel lobby at 7:15 so I'm excited for that. He said that he got my nomination in for the Army All-America game. He just said he has to see me in person and get me to answer some questions and take some pictures.

So far, I have a little over 30 written scholarship offers. Off the top of my head, I know I have offers from Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Tennessee. Those schools are also the ones that are recruiting me the hardest. I like all of those schools.

I also wanted to say that I read articles and forums all the time and I see that I am a lock to go to just about every school. I am here to tell you all that I am not a lock to go anywhere and I have no favorites at this time. I am going to wait to commit as well because I don't want to make a bad decision. I see a lot of kids de-committing and that doesn't look good, so I want to avoid doing that.

I am going to go to the Scout combine on May 8 in Pittsburgh to try to get my fifth star. After that, this summer I plan on going to visit Florida State, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame and Tennessee.

I also will go up to Pittsburgh and Penn State several times, I am sure. I have an open invitation to visit those schools whenever I want since they are so close so I don't really plan those visits.

I really look forward to visiting schools because it is a new experience every time. For example, I went to Florida State a few weekends ago and I really had a great time. I got to hang out with Gary Cismesia, Roger Williams, Jamal Edwards, De'Cody Fagg, Joe Surratt and Tony Carter. They are really cool dudes. They call Gary “Weed” because he is different, but he is really funny. On my visit, I saw Marcus Sims' car and that made me wish that I had a brother in the NFL — ha, ha. My mom said to remember that for my little brother, Kobe.

I talk to a few recruits that are getting recruited by the same schools as me. Most recently, guys like Nick Moody, C.J. Holton, Nigel Carr and Nigel Bradham have been texting me and talking to me a lot. They are all going to Florida State and they all play defense. They keep telling me that they have a nasty defense set for the class, but they want me to come down and help out with the offense.

Last, I just wanted to mention some of the guys in the college game that I look up to or favor the way that they play the game. Mostly, I watch guys like Darren McFadden, Antone Smith, Percy Harvin and Derrick Williams. Those guys all do a little bit of everything — running the ball and catching the ball — which is what I hope to do when I play on Saturdays.

That is all for now.

A.J. Alexander

Altoona Area Mountain Lions

QB No. 4.

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