BREAKING: 5-star junior DT Big Bear Alexander has made his decision
Big Bear Alexander has said exactly what he was looking for in regard to his future college decision.
“Whoever can develop their players and compete and just win on the field,” Alexander told DawgNation in November. “Just get the best out of their guys on and off the field and who cares about you in your life after football, too.”
The nation’s No. 2 DT and No. 5 overall prospect for Rivals.com has apparently found what he was looking for at Georgia. The 6-foot-3.5, 315-pound junior decided to make his college commitment on National Signing Day for the 2021 class.
He shared that decision across his social media accounts.
I would like to thank God , my family, and all the coaches.For all the things he has blessed me with. I am thankful for the many schools that recruited me throughout this process. I’m a 100% committed to the University of Georgia @maka_difference #GoDawgs#🔴⚪️⚫️🐶🐶🐶 pic.twitter.com/dnf6LnYaxD
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) February 3, 2021
The impressive Texas prospect was just ready to get his process started. Alexander had just named a top 16 back in December and always felt he would be a last-minute commitment decision. He was thinking about a 2022 All-American Game to drop that news and then enroll early as a midyear graduate at his preferred school.
That all changed.
“With the window being so short literally 11 months [I] just decided to shut it down early and find a home,” Alexander told DawgNation this week.
Georgia was able to beat out intense recruiting from the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M for his services, among others.
Alexander becomes the second elite DT prospect in the 2022 class at Georgia. His decision brings the tally of commitments in that cycle up to eight for the Bulldogs. He’s the first out-of-state prospect in the class.
With this decision, the Bulldogs rise from No. 3 to the No. 2 spot in the 247Sports Team Composite national recruiting rankings for 2022. Georgia’s score with its eight commitments (181.61) now only trails Ohio State. The Buckeyes have a trio of 5-star recruits among their 10 pledges and a score of 225.91.
“Big Bear” ranks as the nation’s No. 9 DT and the No. 140 overall recruit for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite but that slot is likely due for a significant rating bump after evaluation of Alexander’s dominating junior year for Class 5A Texas state champion Ryan High.
The first time Big Bear Alexander impressed Georgia
The Georgia football program’s reputation has always stood out to Alexander. He was asked back in November what was the best thing he liked about UGA.
He said a lot of positive things about Dan Lanning, Tray Scott and Kirby Smart. Yet his strongest comments centered on the program as a whole.
“The defense,” he said back in November. “The consistency in going out there every week and getting after it and getting better. You can tell how well-coached they are on the field improving each week.”
Big Bear Alexander drove from Texas to Georgia for his first on-campus visit. That was back in the summer of 2019. While he worked out, he was quickly elevated to the top D-line group with the biggest 2020 prospects that Georgia was evaluating for that class.
Alexander had one of the top showings at that camp. That’s to be expected from a young man who was already 305 pounds and shaving when he was in middle school.
The fact that he was showing out as a 2022 prospect mixed in with other 2020 and 2021 high-level targets wasn’t the most impressive thing there.
It was what Google Maps tells us. It is an approximate 920-mile and 13-hour drive from Ryan High School in Denton Texas to the Butts-Mehre Building on the UGA campus.
Alexander wasn’t sure how long that drive actually was. All he knows is that he hopped out of the car and started to work out for the Bulldogs.
“I don’t remember the camp but I actually went to Georgia and worked out for those guys on the staff,” Alexander said. “They saw what I could do and they were impressed. We had to drive how many hours like? I don’t know. What’s Texas from Georgia? Maybe six hours maybe? We drove from Texas to Georgia.”
Go ahead and insert your favorite “Does a bear stretch in the woods before it chases down its prey?” thought bubble into your consumption of this story here.
“After sitting in the car for that long they were impressed with me getting out and working my butt off,” Alexander said. “They said I was one of the hardest workers at the camp. Georgia says that for me that’s always been a thing to remember for them.”
Check out some of that camp footage below.
All this hard work gone pay off soon … pic.twitter.com/TT6yWcouPw
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) June 15, 2019
The Bulldogs offered Alexander after that workout.
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) June 5, 2019
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) April 8, 2020
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) September 1, 2020
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) October 7, 2020
What are the Bulldogs getting in Big Bear Alexander?
He didn’t have a dream school growing up. It wasn’t like one of those Texas schools had a clear built-in edge here.
When he returned to the field last November after waiting on his eligibility after a school transfer case, he showed what he was all about.
“It was great just getting back out there and having that fire lit underneath me,” he said back then. “I’ll be ready to come out there and wreck shop. I don’t care if it is one play. It is going to be a play to remember.”
A lot of folks in the recruiting industry see Alexander as another Jordan Davis type. He can certainly do that, but that’s not his preference at the position. He described his mindset of the way he plays the game.
“Just me coming off the ball and just being very violent and being able to chase the ball down from east to west,” he said.
He studies a lot of game tape and is a highly-intelligent young man in the classroom. Alexander prioritizes his academics. That carries over to the field.
“Just knowing my Xs and Os,” Alexander said. “I think that’s what separates me a lot. I’m able to chase down a lot and pursue to get to the football. That’s what separates me from a lot of these other defensive linemen and then my quickness.”
Most of the schools that talk to him feel he can play up and down the line. Not just a Jordan Davis-type role. That’s probably not his preference. He’s probably wired more in former 5-star Derrick Brown mode who excelled at Auburn before being drafted in the first round by Carolina.
Most schools see Alexander as a “3” technique or a “4i” along their fronts. Big Bear prefers to line up in an odd front.
“I don’t want to two-gap,” he said. “I don’t want to be a pure run stopper. I just want to go. I want to be released.”
What is Georgia getting here? What does he have to say about that?
“The best player and the best young man,” he said.
Look for him to wear No. 0 as a senior at Ryan High and as a freshman in college. That’s his hope, but it might have something to do with Darnell Washington choosing a new number for the Bulldogs.
Check out a clip of Alexander’s highlights from the third round of the Texas high school playoffs below.
That’s impressive considering what he was already doing as a freshmen prospect at Terrell High School in Texas.
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 interviews with Jake Fromm, Gunner Stockton and Brock Vandagriff. You will only be able to find it on the DawgNation YouTube channel.
Highlightsville: The Big Bear Alexander clips to see today
Check out some key tweets and evaluations of his play here. It is impressive watching him take up residence in the backfield against some very well-coached teams. Most schools simply had no answers.
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) January 30, 2021
— THE BIG BEAR (@BearAlexander_) January 18, 2021
Get you a 🐻 like @BearAlexander_ in the middle of your defense
— Rivals (@Rivals) January 16, 2021
— Matt Stepp (@Matt_Stepp817) January 16, 2021
— Mike Roach (@MikeRoach247) January 16, 2021
Bear Alexander is one of the best dlinemen i have ever seen play at the high school level.
— Coach Fonville (@CoachFonville) January 16, 2021
Bear Alexander with a ton of pressure up the gut. Active hands results in a multitude of passes swatted down at the line. He’s been active all evening
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) January 16, 2021
Denton Ryan DT Bear Alexander, the transfer from Terrell via Dallas Skyline, is a big problem for Mansfield Summit tonight…#TXHSFB
— Greg Tepper (@Tepper) January 9, 2021
— Jason Howell (@Jason_Howell) January 1, 2021
Denton Ryan’s @BearAlexander_ is collapsing the pocket. Literally.
— Justin Wells (@justinwells2424) January 1, 2021
Man I just came across a full game of @BearAlexander_ playing. Not a highlight , but a full game. Sheeeesh. Buddy is a grown man out there !!!
— Bj Taylor (@Saaap256) December 27, 2020
— Walker Lott (@walker_lott) December 26, 2020
He shut down the inside run game for Longview most of the game. The passion this kid plays with and the athleticism at his size is why he’s one of the top prospects in Texas in 2022. pic.twitter.com/QkuIs8rO8A
— Walker Lott (@walker_lott) December 26, 2020
— Bryan Thomas Miller (Coach Miller) (@CTECoachMiller) December 26, 2020
Hard to run the ball right now for Longview. @BearAlexander_ seems to be on every play.
— Danny (@coachdwes) December 26, 2020
Bear Alexander just ate Roderick Brown. #txhsfb
— Steve Gamel (@NewspaperSteve) December 19, 2020
The Bear is back and has a case as the most disruptive interior DL prospect in the country. Explosive off the line, ultra physical and a nonstop motor. DL MVP of RCS Dallas as a freshman pic.twitter.com/8CY5ZaSthe
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) December 7, 2020
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
- Big Bear Alexander: When you know this 5-star’s real story, you will be proud
- De’Nylon Morrissette: Gunner Stockton to UGA changes up his outlook considerably
- WATCH: Gunner Stockton’s feet are planted long term; Says he’ll graduate from UGA
- Assessing the ripple effect of Gunner Stockton choosing UGA
- Gunner Stockton: The must-read stories to know on Georgia’s new 5-star QB commit
- Recruits react on social media to the Gunner Stockton decision
- BREAKING: Gunner Stockton makes his final decision to commit to UGA
- FILM ROOM: 5-star Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins is next up in the DawgNation film room
- Oscar Delp: Georgia continues its all-out blitz recruiting for its No. 1 TE target for 2022
- Malaki Starks: How does the Charlton Warren news affect the priority 5-star ATH?
- Mykel Williams: State’s top-rated junior DL prospect ramps up his decision timeline
- DawgNation film room: Impressive 3-star OL Jared Wilson
- BREAKING: Georgia gets a commitment from 3-star junior LB Donovan Westmoreland
- Kojo Antwi: Speedy in-state WR is a huge name to know in the 2022 class
- In-state safety Emory Floyd in on the shortlist of the fastest prospects in the 2022 class
- Emmanuel Henderson: Nation’s No. 1 junior RB already has a strong link to UGA
- Terrion Arnold: All-American DB gives a very good look at his final three schools
- Jalon Walker: The All-American LB target who rattles teeth and aspires to fix them