Marcus Benjamin @_benjaminmoney
How could a four time champion be overlooked? Well, when you practice against 5 star recruits like Pat Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell, play alongside Auburn commit and state track champion Anthony Schwartz and Nebraska commit Miles Jones is your best friend, how could you be overlooked? Such is the case for uncommitted slot receiver Joshua Alexander. The blazing two sport star has yet to land a D-1 offer. Alexander ran the 200m, 400m and the hurdles while in high school clocking his fastest time in the 200 at 21.7 and 400 at 48.9.
“Track has helped me a lot throughout my football career,” said Alexander. “Last year running track with Anthony, Miles, and Pat they just push you on the track every day as an athlete. Running with the best you’re going to compete more. Iron sharpens iron that’s what they always say. Competing with those guys on a daily basis has helped me to get faster and my dad pushed me to run track and it’s helped me a lot with the snap off the ball.”
Alexander, who most recently ran a 4.6 40-yard dash,comes from a lineage of athletes as his father, Derik Alexander, set football records at Hallandale High School and went on to play at the University of Florida. His older sister Sierra is currently a gymnast for the Gators.
“My father is the most influential person in my life. He knows the passion that I have in my heart for football and he was my coach in little league and him being there pushing me to work out pushed me to another level.”
His parents have also influenced him to be a Christian and Josh is a leader in Fellowship for Christian Athletes at his high school.
“In life everyone is going to have priorities and your priorities should coexist with your dreams. I know to make it, not just in football but in the real world, I can’t just say I’m going to give a 100% in football and not 100% in the classroom. I have to give 100% everywhere in my life. It’s really time management.”
Josh started his high school career at St. Thomas Aquinas and learned how to play his position by modeling his game to current Miami Hurricane receiver Mike Harley. He has experience as a returner and enjoys setting the tone for his team in that aspect. He played on teams loaded with talent at Aquinas and American Heritage and has always had to work hard for playing time. He began to consistently see the field when he transferred to Heritage for his junior season.
“When we played [Miami] Northwestern in my junior year, I got in for my first play and my OC said we were going to run a corner for me and I caught it and won the game for my team and that feeling was like no other.”
Josh has witnessed his close friends and teammates receive offers from D-1 schools nationwide and his relationships with them has helped him to be a better football player.
“Miles [Jones] has been my best friend since the second grade and I am so proud of him and that just pushes me to be a better football player and work harder. We’re always ready to go work out and he’s learned some stuff from me and I’ve learned stuff from him. Anthony [Schwartz] has helped me with running deeper routes and changing my speed and Pat [Surtain Jr.] has helped me to know that I have to different things against different corners.”
He credits former NFL Pro Bowler and head coach Pat Surtain as being the best head coach that he could ever have. Also, former NFL player Orande Gadsden who served as his receivers coach, played a major part in his development as a pass catcher. Josh may be a bit undersized at 5’10 but history has shown that great receivers like Antonio Brown, Golden Tate, T.Y. Hilton, Desean Jackson, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman have all thrived in the NFL at that height or less.
Alexander is clearly one of those D-1 players not getting the D-1 love. He currently has an unweighted 3.8 GPA (4.1 weighted), 1180 SAT and 26 on the ACT. He did however land an offer from Columbia and fellow Ivy League schools Dartmouth and Princeton are also showing interest. West Florida attended the Football Hotbed Senior Showcase and were impressed by what they saw and visited the young talent in home the next day.
“My motto is how hard would you play today if you knew tomorrow was your last game?” stated Alexander. “My best asset is my work ethic. I’m always motivated. I always give 110% and it only takes one school to take a chance on me. All I need is that one chance.”
See Joshua Alexander’s game tape here: