The Texas A&M Aggies are heading into their second year in the SEC West, looking to make a run at the SEC title game with the returning talent on their roster.
One player who is trying to make his way onto the field this spring is Brandon Alexander. Alexander is one of the most physically gifted players on the Aggies defensive line, but the past two seasons he has vastly underperformed.
The Aggies don’t have a lot of gaps in their roster heading into the new year, but defensive end could use some help. That’s where Alexander comes in.
Alexander earned some snaps as a freshman in 2011 in the Aggies 3-4 defense, but with the coaching change that came last fall, Alexander fell off the radar. He didn’t transition well, and he took a redshirt season in 2012.
He finished 2011 with 12 tackles as a true freshman, and he battled through a dislocated elbow injury.
During the transition to the 4-3, Alexander looked the part of stud performer, but he never reached his potential in 2012.
The transition from linebacker to defensive end may have helped him in his redshirt season last fall. He also left campus during the summer of 2012 and spent some time out of the coaches' good graces this past year.
After turning into a workout warrior this winter, he is now expected to battle for the starting weak-side defensive end spot for 2013.
As a recruit, Alexander was not the most highly rated, donning a 3-star rating from most recruiting sites.
He was an explosive incoming freshman who needed to add bulk to his frame yet showed a relentless motor and the ability to change direction quickly for his size.
Although he seemed tall on film, he played with a lower pad level and drove his man.
He has added nearly 20 pounds since arriving to College Station and has been in a college program for two years. That was needed weight, and Alexander still plays with the speed and explosiveness that he did in high school.
Looking ahead, Alexander must see that everything he needs to succeed has been laid out in front of him. He has the physical tools to become a premier pass-rusher in this league. It is all about attitude.
With the Aggies looking for a replacement for Damontre Moore this spring, Brandon Alexander is in a great position to take over the explosive defensive end role and march the Aggies to victory in 2013.