22 in 22: Taj Alexander

ScarletReport.com's in the final week of the "22 in 22" series, and the 17th incoming member of the 2010 class to be profiled is Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) lineman Taj Alexander. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Alexander discusses his playing shape, whether he will begin his Rutgers career on the offensive or defensive line. Alexander also gives his thoughts on the prestigious Big 33 all-star game.

In the two weeks between now and Taj Alexander's enrollment at Rutgers, he will graduate, play in the prestigious Big 33 all-star game and enjoy Senior Week, a time to vacation, relax and celebrate earning a diploma.

And that should be a tame two weeks compared to what Alexander, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive tackle from Downingtown East High (Exton, Pa.).

"I've been getting my body in shape for summer camp,'' Alexander said. "I've been working out hard. I've been following their program, dropped a couple of pounds.''

Couple pounds? Try 19.

"It's just working hard and eating right,'' Alexander said. "It was easy. I did it in a couple of months.''

Alexander admits there is uncertainty about the position he will play at Rutgers, although he prefers defensive tackle. He recorded 17 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a senior, and was named the Ches-Mont League defensive player of the year.

When he was offered and committed in late November, Alexander did so without knowing which position he would be playing. He was introduced signing day as a defensive lineman, but he also can play on the offensive line.

"I think they're leaning more toward defense, but I'm not really sure,'' Alexander said. "When I went down there on the recruiting trip, it was more three-technique. That's the one I'm the most comfortable with.''

If Alexander begins on the defensive line, a red-shirt season appears markedly more likely. Scott Vallone, Charlie Noonan, Eric LGrand and Andre Civil are the top four on the depth chart.

Alexander graduates Monday, but practice begins Saturday for the Big 33 all-star, which pits Pennsylvania's best against Ohio's best. The game is June 19 at Hershey (Pa.) Park Stadium.

"It's a big honor,'' Alexander said. "I know a lot of guys in that. There are lot of guys that are going into the Big East conference that are playing in that game. I know a couple are going to Pitt, so it's a good experience.''

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