Purdue officially offered Jaylan Alexander yesterday afternoon, and it didn’t take the athlete from Rivergrove, Ill long to accept. Alexander is a supreme athlete that plays numerous roles for his high school team. On offense you can find the 6’1, 235 beast in the backfield taking handoffs, or split out wide catching passes. On defense, you can find him thumping ball carriers from his linebacker position.
Opinions widely vary from recruiting site to recruiting site on Alexander. This isn’t uncommon for a player that lines up at multiple positions, but 247 Sports, the site I trust the most, is extremely high on Alexander’s abilities. After his commitment, Steve Wiltfong, director of recruiting at 247 Sports had this to say about Alexander:
#Purdue lands unique two-way player tonight in Jaylan Alexander. Will play LB for #Boilers & has terrific traits: https://t.co/CUdAwkC3gF https://t.co/vs913dGbmc— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) June 6, 2017
247 Sports has Alexander ranked as a 3 star player with a grade of 87. To put that in perspective, an 87 grade would tie Nick Sipe for the highest rated player in last years recruiting class according to 247. 247 Sports also has Alexander rated 9th overall in Illinois. Pulling a top 10 player out of the Chicago area has to be seen as a coup for the Purdue staff, and is an excellent way to kick off the 2018 recruiting class. Looking at his defensive highlights, it’s not hard to see why people are so intrigued by Alexander’s skill set at linebacker.
Alexander’s speed and explosion to the ball is truly elite for his position. Once he finds the ball, he gets to the ball, and he gets to the ball with menace. He also appears to have good timing on his blitzes, and gets to the quarterback and gets the quarterback on the ground. Finally, I like his willingness to stay alive in plays, work off blocks, and then find the ball. Being able to work off blocks is crucial at the college level, because more often than not, the offensive line is going to do it’s job, and you’re going to have to beat the lineman in front of you. Getting off blocks at the second level is the difference between a 4 yard run and a 40 yards run.
After his commitment last night, I reached out to Alexander on twitter, and he graciously agreed to answer a few quick questions.
Can you tell me a little about your recruitment? Purdue offered and you jumped on the opportunity the same day.
Before Purdue offered I was sitting on 9 offers from mostly MAC schools , New Mexico & a couple FCS schools. Coach Shepherd was recruiting me from the start of it all.
The Chicago area was once a key part of Purdue recruiting, and I for one, am glad the current staff is once again making it a priority. Can you tell me a little about your team, and football in general in the Chicago area?
My team is pretty good but because of the conference we're in we get looked over from schools like Barrington & Palatine. Chicago has a lot of ATHLETES in general!
You're a WR/OLB, but reports are Purdue is recruiting you as a linebacker. What do you consider your best attribute on the defensive side of the ball?
Yes Purdue offered me as a inside linebacker. My biggest attribute as a defensive player would be my energy and my leadership abilities to take control and make plays!
Coach Holt is known as an aggressive defensive coach that likes to attack with his linebackers. How do you see yourself fitting into that scheme?
I see myself rushing off the edge a lot and blitzing a lot! Using my explosiveness off the line and speed to make plays.
Do you have a message you'd like to send out to all the Boilermaker fans reading this article?
To all the Boilermaker fans, just be ready to win some ball games and hopefully some championships! I do whatever it takes to win. I love the game of football its literally in my blood!