(11) LSU
7
1st QTR
2:21
7
(1) Georgia
Bear Alexander-Jalon Walker-Big Bear Alexander-Georgia recruiting
Big Bear Alexander (center) poses with his guardian Tony Jones (right) and Georgia All-American LB commit Jalon Walker at the Duke's Mayo Classic on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 in Charlotte, NC.

Big Bear Alexander: Breaking down a final 2, his decision date and a ‘home’ feeling about UGA

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is about the latest with 5-star DT target Big Bear Alexander out of Texas.

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DawgNation doesn’t really know it yet, but it recruited its hind legs off Saturday night in Charlotte. That has a lot to do with his postgame update from 5-star DT Big Bear Alexander.

There are many postgame recruit reactions to chronicle across these web pages, but none will likely be as pertinent as a few thoughts shared after the game by Alexander.

When he walked around Charlotte on Saturday afternoon and evening, he was noticed by the Georgia people. Over and over again.

“A ton” was the phrase Alexander used to describe it.

This was something new for the Texas native here with Georgia. He’s been to Athens a few times. The nation’s No. 6 DT for 2022 (247Sports Composite scale) took a visit back to UGA during the last week of July to see the school he was once seen as a hard commit to.

It was just like old times. That “home” feeling still has never faded.

When he took in his first UGA game as a recruit on Saturday, he got to witness it all. The fan support. The Georgia people. How they lifted up in their team in key moments and then bathed their Bulldogs in praise after a hard-fought 10-3 victory.

Alexander has a greater appreciation for the game itself than most might expect. DawgNation has reeled in over 30 post-victory “reactions” from major recruits, commits and targets so far. His post-game thoughts were a bit different. They sounded more like the many layers of things that a football coach would focus on.

“Bear” pointed to what he saw taking place within the schemes.

“I think offensively they moved the ball down the field well,” he stated while aware of the final score. “Defensively [they] flew around and got a punch on those guys which caused them to only put up three points. Overall it was a good game and I definitely liked what I saw.”

Alexander was told in person by Bulldog senior Jordan Davis this spring that he wants him to take over that No. 99 jersey and fill in for him on Saturdays after he goes to the NFL after this season. He described his performance with one word: “Ballin.”

“JD played the run real well,” Alexander said. “They were vertical penetrators and it worked out in their favor.”

He couldn’t help but notice how much the fan base supports the Bulldogs. And supported him.

“The fans were crazy hyped,” Alexander said. “They definitely recruited me hard and recommended I become a ‘Dawg.”

He had one favorite part of the whole experience.

“I want to say just seeing it all come together,” Alexander said. “Because they send me a ton of practice footage so just seeing it hands-on and in-person was the best part.”

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5-star DT prospect Big Bear Alexander soaks up the sun and the Duke's Mayo Classic with his guardian and father figure Tony Jones at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Sept. 4, 2021.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

The recruiting moving forward with Big Bear Alexander

He has an idea of when he will see Georgia play again.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Maybe around my official visit late in the fall.”

That’s positive news for the Bulldogs on two fronts. First, it means he will check out the Bulldogs again. It also means that Georgia is going to get an official visit. The Bulldogs were not a cinch to earn one. He’s seen UGA a handful of times now and he’s already taken officials to Alabama and Miami.

USC was scheduled to get one. That one never materialized. It seems very likely that Texas A&M will also get one of those, too.

He thinks he will come in for a game on that official visit. But he’s not certain. The thing there is the Bulldogs like to bring in their major 5-star official visitors like Alexander in the weeks between the SEC Championship Game and the dead period which precedes every Early Signing Day in December.

The popular 247Sports “Crystal Ball” feature now tracks 11 predictions. They all point to him choosing the Aggies.

What keeps him considering the Bulldogs so strongly?

“That I was once committed and even when I de-committed they still made it feel like home,” Alexander said.

Does he still have that “home” feeling about Georgia?

“Yessir,” Alexander said.

How hard does he ultimately think that decision between Texas A&M and UGA will turn out to be?

“I think it’ll only get harder after a Texas A&M game,” he said. “But I can only choose one.”

The game experience at the Duke’s Mayo Classic “definitely did” give him something new to think about. Especially when it comes to evaluating the opportunity to do something like that on the field as a Bulldog.

That something new to consider about Georgia came back around to the football. It wasn’t the shine of starring on the national TV stage.

“Knowing that JD and Vonte came back for a reason and their game has only improved,” Alexander said. “But the line as a whole was mind-blowing.”

In the interest of balancing things out, what is it about Texas A&M that keeps that school as one of his two finalists?

“It is a school that has recruited me since I was a freshman and they are always going to be good at football,” he said.

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What Big Bear Alexander still means to the 2022 class

All-American LB commitment Jalon Walker made sure to spend some good time with Alexander on Saturday night. He visited with a lot of the UGA targets, including All-American TE Oscar Delp, too.

Walker remembers walking down to the edge of the stands to get a better look at his future team warming up.

What happened to him happens to everyone who sees Alexander in person for the very first time. The pictures really can’t do it justice. When Alexander posed with Davis back over the summer, they looked like the same size even though Davis is about two inches taller.

“Whoa, that’s Bear,” Walker said while describing that first visual impression. “I saw him standing by the ledge and thought I would go up and surprise. It was a great time to finally get to meet him and be in person with him. We’ve talked numerous times in text or on the phone but we’ve never seen each other in person before.”

Georgia didn’t land the commitment of North Carolina 5-star DT Travis Shaw last month. They are often hot and cold and hot and lukewarm with 5-star DT Walter Nolen, too.

Alexander was a UGA commitment before. He still has them in his top two. At this time, it still looks like Alexander would be the most ideal fit for the Bulldogs in the 2022 cycle.

It can be argued that no remaining undecided recruit would mean as much to Georgia’s 2022 class as a recommitment from Alexander.

Walker thinks so, too.

“What really sticks out to me with Bear was what Jordan Davis said in his postgame press interview was with some reporter was ‘Two on me and somebody is going to be free’ and somebody was always going to be free with Davis up there. It ended up that way for the linebackers for Georgia or with anybody else on the D-line for Georgia against Clemson last night. It really helps a lot to have a big type of person on that D-line to incorporate that double team or triple-team like Jordan because then somebody is always going to be free and somebody else is then going to eat.”

That’s still a missing part of the nation’s No. 3 overall recruiting class (247Sports Team Composite ratings) up to this point. The Bulldogs currently only have one interior defensive line prospect committed to the class in 4-star DT Tyree West.

West, who ranks at No. 80 overall nationally, is just not that sort of player. He’s far more like DeVonte Wyatt than Davis.

Georgia will most assuredly see Davis and Wyatt ascend on to the NFL after this season. Those two look like they will both go in the first three rounds. The Bulldogs will also exhaust the eligibility of sixth-year senior Julian Rochester on the front. Junior DT Travon Walker will also be draft-eligible and coveted by NFL scouts after this season.

That’s a lot of ‘Dawgs upfront to try and find new playmakers to fill in those holes.

“We’ve done well in getting Tyree and we’ve done guy filling in that linebacker, safety and cornerback position,” Walker said. “I feel like that missing piece will be that D-line position in this class. To really set this defense off."

Alexander is a major need. So is Cedar Grove All-American DT target Christen Miller. California DT Hero Kanu is another name that the Bulldogs have really impressed. Kanu was watching the ‘Dawgs get after Clemson on TV. Miller was there in Charlotte to see it all, too.

Walker enjoyed meeting with Alexander.

“He’s a real chill guy,” Walker said. “He’s laid-back. He and I had a good time. Just great to meet him in person. The same thing as well for me with Gunner Stockton. We’ve talked to one another and texted to one another over the phone as well, but we’ve never seen each other in person. It was great to see all these faces now.”

It was slick to hear how Walker brought up Georgia with Alexander.

“We spoke before the game,” Walker said. “Then I’m looking at him at the end of the game and exactly what I said was I was looking at him and I said ‘Hey look at this. What’s better than this and this atmosphere? What’s better than the competition level you will get in the SEC and plus an opener like Clemson against the No. 3 team in the country right here?’ and I told him you’d just get great competition here at Georgia and get to play big-time football.”

Big Bear Alexander (center) poses with his guardian Tony Jones (right) and Georgia All-American LB commit Jalon Walker at the Duke's Mayo Classic on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, NC.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

SENTELL’S INTEL

(check on the recent recruiting reads on DawgNation.com)

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