A.J. Alexander, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound four-star wide receiver from Area High School in Altoona, Pa., finished his regular senior season games with over 1,000 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns. He had over 400 yards receiving with six more touchdowns. Alexander also returned two kicks for scores and even threw for 100 yards and one touchdown.
"I want to play for coaches I feel like I can trust," Alexander said. "I'd like to play early and be able to compete right away. I'll make my decision in January after all my visits."
Alexander, ranked as the No. 27 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com, still favors Penn State, but now only slightly, over Pittsburgh, Tennessee, North Carolina and Clemson. All of his favorites have offered (54 total). "I'm really comfortable with my top five and could see myself at any one of them," he said. "It's really even right now."
He took his first official visit on Oct. 27 to Tennessee. The Vols are recruiting Alexander the hardest.
"I love the atmosphere there," he said. "It's crazy. They love their team and they are very loud and really get into the game. They started tailgating super early. I was there like at 10 am and they were already out there and the game didn't start until like 7 pm. I love the enthusiasm of the fans. They go all out."
He also visited North Carolina on Nov. 3. "You can tell they are an up-and-coming team," he said of the Tar Heels. "They are selling out their games and are in every game they play. They don't really get blown out anymore.
"It's also a really nice campus and the new coaches are cool," he said. "They know what they are talking about and about 80 percent of their staff coached in the NFL. I think they are gonna be really good in the future and they aren't a team you can overlook anymore."
Alexander also has a visit scheduled with Pittsburgh on Dec. 8. "Pittsburgh is a nice place and is right there in the city," he said. "Plus they share their facilities with the Steelers, which is great.
"Both Pittsburgh and Penn State are pretty close so I've been there a lot and know both schools really well," he said. "Penn State is more of a college town, but I love them both.
"I don't really know how much longer coach (Joe) Paterno is going to be there, but I'm not really worried about that," he said. "That's not even something we really talk about. I think they'll get someone from within to replace him and the transition will probably be pretty smooth. I don't think they'll be making any big changes there."
One of the teams that has impressed Alexander the most this season has been Clemson. "I didn't get to watch the game against Boston College (Nov. 17) because we had a game that night, but I saw the highlights," he said. "It was a really big game, but it's too bad they lost. They just couldn't capitalize and get it done. They still had a good season and I'm not really gonna let one game affect how I feel about them.
"I was initially supposed to visit them this past weekend, but since it was such a big game they decided not to have any official visits at all," he said. "But since we were still in the playoffs, I would have had to reschedule anyway."
Alexander reports a 3.0 core GPA and an 830 SAT.