Alexander is a track star, too
As Stanford has gone from worst to first over the past five years, recruiting has picked up accordingly. But nowhere has the change been greater than at defensive back, and the 2014 class looks to be the deepest yet at the position Stanford has traditionally found the hardest to recruit.
Stanford recruitniks are likely aware of Texan Brandon Simmons, profiled recently
on The Bootleg, and may well know of D.C. teammates D’Andre
Payne and Alameen Murphy, all recruits in receipt of Cardinal offers
and high on the school. It’s a deep year at defensive back, and it’s
a great problem to have. (To paraphrase one Jim Harbaugh, who asked
a similar question when deluged with tight end commits, “How many
strong and fast guys should I recruit?”)
Enter Louisiana cornerback Terrence Alexander into this year’s mix.
Alexander is no stranger to depth chart competition. He has started
since sophomore year at John Curtis High, one of the top football
schools in the country that boasts 25 state championships.
Spring brings just as loaded of a depth chart for Alexander; it’s
just moved to the track. Curtis’ indoor and outdoor track teams have
won a combined five state titles in the past three years. Alexander
has contributed to that success, as he runs the 200 (he just posted
a 21.9 in the season’s opening meet) and 100 (10.9 PR in ninth
grade), those respective relays, and is sometimes triple jumper for
good measure. Yet, in short order, Alexander will be happy to put
his running days behind him.
“I would prefer just do football at the next level,” he said in an
interview last week. “If a college wants me to run track, I wouldn’t
say no, but I would prefer to focus on football.”
If the cliché goes that some fast guys are track guys and
some are football players, count Alexander firmly in the football
camp. His mentality on the field seems to jive with what Stanford
asks out of its secondary – if not every position group on the
“My mentality is to be an aggressive player,” he said. “I’d rather
be up in a guy’s face in isolation, you and your man. I’ll play any
position in the secondary, kick returner, punt returner. Just try to
make a play to get my team pumped up.
“Some teams play more zone and some teams more man. I prefer the man
scheme. I feel that’s my best asset... I want to get up there, jam
and be aggressive. Cover, but also beat the screens and get tackles
for losses. Change it up a lot.”
The Bootleg’s David
Lombardi recently highlighted Coach David Shaw’s philosophy
that places a premium on physicality at all positions [Ed: even
cornerback, see Alex Carter], to such an extent that blocking will
be at the forefront in determining the wide receiver pecking order.
It’s thus obvious to see why Stanford wants to recruit a player with
such a nose for the ball mentality, but an equally important
question at this stage is whether Alexander believes Stanford’s
defensive philosophy would be a fit.
“It’s not too bad,” Alexander said of Stanford’s defensive scheme.
“I watched the Rose Bowl and the Oregon game. They changed it up a
It’s rare for schools from all six BCS conference to offer a single
player, but Alexander has run that gamut. He reports offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Arkansas in the
SEC, Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State in the Pac-12, Kansas State
in the Big 12, Georgia Tech in the ACC, Cincinnati in the Big East,
Nebraska and Indiana in the Big Ten, and Tulane, Houston, Memphis,
Louisiana Tech and Louisiana Lafayette to boot.
“My first offer was Ole Miss,” he reports. “I had a real good
showing at their camp. At one-on-ones, they put me with Ole Miss
commits, and I was still shutting them down, so they offered me
later on in the week. Ole Miss and Tulane offered at camps. Stanford
saw me at practice and you can’t say anything in practice, but Coach
Lance has been in touch maybe once or twice a week ever since.”
The constant contact has paid off for Lance Anderson and the
“I’m trying to get to Stanford,” Alexander said. “I’m definitely
going this summer, no doubt about it. Half my family originates from
southern California, so I’m always finding ways to get back to
California... I want to see the atmosphere, the campus what academic
lives are like, the tours, the field, and if I can see myself living
there maybe the next four years of my life. I want to talk to other
coaches and see how my parents feel about the place.”
While Alexander’s father will accompany him to the Farm, both of his
parents have a quiet influence on his thinking.
“They are not really saying anything yet,” Terrence Alexander said.
“They want me to go to a school that focuses on me the most and
keeps me in the right place. They want to make sure I’m not picking
a school for the wrong reason.”
Alexander reports a 3.5 GPA, and one of the first things he told The
Bootleg is that he wants “a degree that means something.” Stanford
coach Lance Anderson is his primary recruiter, and the two discuss
his academic path to the Farm.
“Making sure I have all the right classes, keeping all As and Bs,
and getting a good ACT score,” Alexander says of his next steps
toward eventual admittance at Stanford. “Right now I have everything
I need, [Anderson]’s just keeping on track.”
After stressing academics, both the overall quality of the
institution and a school’s strength in his areas of interest,
Alexander added that a depth chart conducive to early playing time
would be another factor in his decision making.
Alexander says he won’t announce leaders or until the end of summer,
when he plans to narrow his list to four or five schools. However,
he does allow that Stanford, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech are the
schools in the most contact with him.
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