The interview game has changed rapidly over the last five years at DawgNation. Steno pads were antiques when we started this website. Digital recorders were quickly swapped for smartphone apps.
Yet it is one thing to have the words. It is another experience to have the video. The full conversations and all the context those chats can offer.
While putting a mic on Big Bear Alexander’s shirt collar this week, he was asked to deliver a lyric that currently lives rent-free in his head. That’s a casual way to get a microphone check for the audio level.
The highest-ranking commitment in Georgia’s No. 1 class (247Sports Team Composite rankings) supplied an interesting choice.
“Gots to be a G ‘till the day that I die,” he said.
“The Big Bear” found those words as fast as he fires off the ball. Was that because of the Georgia “Power G” or something else?
The conversation took him to a recent picture he posted on Instagram. The Texas resident was in the Georgia locker room. Clad in a No. 99 jersey. The plans for him to inherit that number from Jordan Davis were set in motion a long time ago.
What was he thinking there?
“That I’m blessed,” he said. “That I’m really at the University of Georgia and Jordan Davis’ number. He’s passing it along on to me. I’m just feeling so excited in my life. Just thanking God.”
Despite how many sentiments we could document in this space, there is going to be apprehension about Alexander. Every school wants to try and pry the nation’s No. 26 overall prospect (247Sports Composite) from Athens.
Especially the ones that want to win championships with a difference-maker like Alexander in the middle of their defense.
Texas A&M really wants him. They just hired away Nick Williams off the Georgia staff.
Big Bear Alexander took his first unofficial visit to UGA since the pandemic this week. He recapped the visit in an exclusive conversation with DawgNation.com.
Should key commitments be visiting other schools this summer?
Committed and visiting? Hmm. What’s up with that?
The opinion here is it is in every recruit’s right now to do so. Perhaps more than ever. Maybe some of the same staples do not apply. How can a prospect be “committed” while he is still visiting other schools?
The retort: How “committed” can any kid be if he’s never seen how the other school compare?
The old-school value of “committed” should still be appreciated. But the thought here is those that go to see other schools shouldn’t be seen as a “soft” commitment in quite the same light as years past.
Maybe that’s the case for repeated trips. Especially when they are not visiting the school they are publicly committed to with the same frequency.
But things do feel different for these impressionable young players. That’s what they say. They wondered if they were going to get to take any meaningful visits at all. That’s what they saw the 2021 class endure.
Recruits went back to school this week for the first time in 16 months. It is hard to blame those that chose to go see three, four or even five schools in a week. In years past, the Georgia staff would encourage early commitments to go see other schools.
If that recruit found something else that felt was the better fit, it was in the best interest of all parties. In most cases, it went a long way to validate that UGA was the best spot for them.
It served to augment the commitment. Not the other way around. With the transfer portal looming these days, it makes even more sense for these families to fully research a decision.
Deyon Bouie, another 5-star UGA commitment, was also at Texas A&M this week. He said he was going to visit that school earlier this month. It is another nod to the recruiting relationship he had with Williams.
Malaki Starks, another 5-star commit, doesn’t see it that way. He will choose to only visit Georgia.
There’s a different definition for every young person with that these days. It is actually their right to find what that term “committed” means to their specific recruiting process.
Alexander’s take on that was steeped in reason.
“I mean of course I am going to get out and see places,” Alexander said. “I made sure that was known. I feel like being committed somewhere is just being honest. Just being transparent with a coach. Letting them know Iike ‘Hey I am going to be going to X, Y and Z and this place and just being honest.’”
What’s the important thing to note here? That Alexander visited A&M this weekend? Or he’s the one Bouie said was acting as a leader of the class being the scenes?
Bouie said “Big Bear” reaches out to him all the time. They swap messages often.
“I don’t want to blow smoke up ‘Big Bear’ but I feel like ‘Big Bear’ is more of a leader of this class than all of us,” Bouie said last weekend. “You don’t have no choice but to listen to what Bear has to say. He’s the biggest guy in the room or on the calls and he might growl or go ‘Raagggh’ at you. I think he might growl at you or something.”
It has been constant.
“Big Bear will tell like the group chat we’ve got this group meeting at 7 p.m. on a day and to make sure that everybody gets in there,” Bouie said.
That sounds like a modern definition of committed. Especially coming out of a global pandemic.
Big Bear Alexander is a rising senior in high school. That big Bulldog next to him is rising college senior Jordan Davis. Alexander has been given the opportunity to wear that No. 99 jersey when he arrives in Athens.
Big Bear Alexander: Breaking down another DawgNation conversation
Alexander said his favorite image from his UGA photoshoot was captured when he was standing up. The 6-foot-3, 325-pounder was actually growing.
Yes, growling. The Big Bear does growl a bit in a moment like that. Especially while taking some emotionally charged pictures.
“It was basically like a celebration after a sack,” he said. “I’m just yelling. Basically. Just an Aahhhhhhhhhhh.”
Want to see everything Alexander told DawgNation this week? The full video of our interview appears below.
Check it out for his thoughts on the following:
Did the UGA visit enhance his commitment to the Bulldogs?
What was it like to meet Jordan Davis?
What was his favorite part of the trip?
Why will he visit other schools?
Why is he working behind the scenes as a leader of the class?
Who are the folks at UGA who already make Athens feel like home?
When will he take his official visit to UGA?
Which current Bulldogs helped to solidify his feelings about UGA?
Big Bear Alexander plans to return to UGA for his official visit in the fall for a big game.