The Washington Post

Lake Braddock receiver A.J. Alexander picks up first offer

A.J. Alexander Lake Braddock receiver A.J. Alexander caught 75 passes last season, four for touchdowns. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Virginia offered Lake Braddock wide receiver A.J. Alexander a scholarship late last week, his first, but it was not until days later that the news sank in with the rising junior.

Alexander was at a camp in Cleveland over the weekend, and when the players were chatting with each other, the inevitable question was, “Do you have any offers?”

Many had received interest, but nothing more. When Alexander was asked, he could report, yes, he had an offer from Virginia.

“Wow, I can sit here and say that now,” he said Monday night. “That’s when it hit me.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Alexander (listed as “Aramis” and not A.J. in some places) had stood out at a seven-on-seven event in Charlottesville, and he hopes to impress Maryland coaches at a one-day camp Wednesday in College Park. Penn State also is showing considerable interest after Alexander attended a camp there. North Carolina, future home of Lake Braddock quarterback Caleb Henderson, also is involved.

“He’s much bigger than what you typically see at wideout,” Lake Braddock Coach Jim Poythress said. “He has hands the size of catcher’s mitts. When a college coach walks in the room, he passes the eye test. Right away it’s, ‘Who’s that guy?’ He could be a linebacker. He could be a safety. There are a lot of things he can do.”

Alexander, who moved to Northern Virginia in eighth grade after living in Japan for six years, last season as a sophomore caught 75 passes for 741 yards, both team highs, and scored four touchdowns.

Alexander will not turn 16 until Aug. 28, but in the recruiting process he tries to conduct himself as if he were an older player.

“When I walk into a room, I’m confident,” said Alexander, the son of two Marines, Anthony and Katrina. “I always go to the [college] coach and shake their hand and make eye contact. I feel like I handle myself properly and the coaches appreciate that. But it’s the physical aspect that catches their eye.”

Lake Braddock has other college prospects. Reece Burnett, a 6-foot-2, 340-pound lineman, has attracted attention from Football Championship Subdivision schools. Tight end Ryan Antonellis and linebacker Dwight Lomax are other Bruins drawing interest. All are rising seniors.

Lake Braddock (8-3, 7-0 in the Virginia AAA Patriot District last season) will be tested early. Its first three games this season are at neighborhood rival Robinson (Dan Meier’s debut in his return to coaching), at Division 5 state runner-up Stone Bridge (14-1) and at home vs. Westfield (12-1).



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Brandon Parker · June 25, 2013