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Better Know a Newcomer: Terrence Alexander

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Veteran DB gives LSU needed depth.

Every school wants a piece of Louisiana. The state routinely ranks near the top of the list of NFL players per capita and a majority of those players wind up playing their college ball at LSU. There’s a lot of talk about putting up a fence around the state, but the numbers indicate LSU essentially picks and chooses the players they want in state and rarely miss out when they set their sights on a prospect. Yes, Alabama’s found some success. Yes, a prospect here and there leaves the state and excels. But, by and large, if LSU wants them, they get them.

Beyond that elite grouping, there’s still a collection of prospects that never draw LSU’s attention. Terrence Alexander is one such prospect. He took the winding road, but it was the road that lead him back home.

The Story

Alexander, a New Orleans native, who prepped at legendary John Curtis HS, was once a highly esteemed prospect. As a rising Junior, he attended a couple of LSU camps, hunting an offer from the in-state power, but LSU never reciprocated interest. Instead, conference rival Ole Miss were the first program to offer Alexander a scholarship. Later came Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Kansas State. By the conclusion of his junior season, Alexander looked like a commodity across the nation. That spring, he added more offers, this time from Arkansas, Mississippi State and Nebraska. He took a Junior day visit to Texas A&M. More offers came through, including Ohio State. He turned in an outstanding season which landed him on the Louisiana 3A All-State team. Prep football done, Alexander set his eyes on his college recruitment. He scheduled three official visits: Stanford, Notre Dame and Ole Miss. With respect to Ole Miss, it seems clear they remained in the hunt due to their proximity to home, while Alexander set his sights on institutions with more academic prestige. After three visits, Alexander chose Stanford.

Alexander contributed immediately at Stanford, playing in 13 games as a freshman and even logging an interception. He played in every game as a Sophomore and Junior too, though never rising to starter status. His best season came as a Sophomore, when he registered 30 tackles in 14 games. Last season, during the season opener against Rice, Alexander injured his knee and missed the remainder of the season. The NCAA granted him a medical redshirt, and thus another year of eligibility. After initially indicating he would return to Stanford, which seemed to have a path to playing time with the departures of Justin Reid and Quenton Meeks to the NFL, Alexander elected to transfer out after he graduated from Stanford in the Summer.

When LSU struck out on signing Patrick Surtain Jr. last Spring, a need for additional CB depth arose. Suddenly LSU had to shuttle DB signee Kelvin Joseph back into a cornerback role, when they previously envisioned him as a safety. To make matters more complicated, the NCAA continues to fumble around with Kristian Fulton’s eligibility. Thus, the route for Alexander became apparent. Orgeron and Aranda made the pitch and Alexander made the call to return home to finish out his college playing days.

The Numbers

247 Composite Rating: ***
247 Composite Ranking: .8688

Despite a pretty solid offer list, Alexander held a three-star rating in the 247 composite. 247 evaluators themselves ranked him a four-star. He’s got decent, not great, measurables at 5-foot-10. I don’t buy LSU’s height bump of six-feet. He’s around 190 pounds. That’s probably more like a true nickel at LSU, though Tre White excelled at a similar size. Alas, not all players are Tre White.

The Film

The thing that first pops to me is that Alexander plays with an edge. He likes to trash talk. He likes to stand over his opponent. He seems to like the mind games aspect of the game. That’s not a problem, if you can back up the talk. Greedy Williams can shit talk whoever he wants because when he takes the field, he’s not going to give you an inch. Alexander? I’m not sure he can match that skill. That said, as long as he doesn’t extend it into drawing penalty flags territory, I don’t have any real issue with him playing mind games.

Otherwise, he looks like a physical player. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in the run game. I imagine it draws Aranda to him. You need some guys willing to get dirty. Coverage wise, there’s not a ton here to judge. My hunch is he’s probably not a guy you want on an island, but he can thrive in zone schemes. He seems to have a good knack for playing the ball in the air. I think that may limit his scheme versatility.

He’s already being praised for his smarts and how quickly he picked up the LSU playbook. It’s safe to say he’s probably more of a cerebral talent than a physical one.

The Future

The path to get on the field became very clear this week when the NCAA denied Fulton’s second appeal. So long as Fulton cannot play, then the corner spot across from Greedy remains open. Alexander is gunning for that spot. His experience gives him a leg up on other youngsters, like Kary Vincent and Kelvin Joseph, who are also making a play for playing time.

My guess is Alexander gets that spot coming out of Fall Camp but as the underclassmen get more and more experience, he may yield playing time to them. I don’t anticipate Alexander to be a full-time starter for LSU this season, but he will still be a major contributor. Ultimately, he’s a nice depth addition, but probably not a true difference maker. Missing on Surtain Jr. and not getting Fulton back make Alexander a must have, but expectations should be kept in check.

High End: Season Long Starter. NFL Draft pick.
Low End: Rotational depth.
Realistic: Sometimes starter and solid depth addition.