A.J. Alexander, the highly touted high school wide receiver and track star from Altoona, PA, has committed to Florida State this weekend. Normally I don't dedicate entire posts to kids committing to other schools, but this one raises some alarming flags.
Here we have a star wide receiver growing up 45 minutes from Penn State attending Penn State games his entire life. Penn State is looking to bring in one or two wide receivers this year and recruited Alexander hard. It should be a slam dunk for Penn State, but obviously it wasn't.
Now I don't want to knock Alexander. He made the choice that was right for him. He's big into track, so maybe he liked their track program better. Or maybe he liked the weather or liked the coaches better. Maybe it was the acedemics. Nah. It was probably the weather. Who knows. For whatever reason Alexander chose the Seminoles and BSD wishes him well. But at the same time BSD turns to the Penn State coaches and asks what the hell happened?
Penn State has some great things going for them. We have a winning tradition and a legendary coach. We play in a premiere conference with tons of national exposure. Our acedemics are superb when compared to other programs. Our facilities and fan support are top notch.
All of these are great, but at the same time, we do have several things going against us. Our coach is 80 years old, and his contract runs out in 2008. He doesn't know how to text message or write an email. He doesn't travel to visit recruits anymore, and neither does our offensive coordinator, Galen Hall. Our offense was anemic in 2006, and with the exception of the Michael Robinson team of 2005, it has been pathetic ever since 2002.
Is this commit just a fluke kid wanting to get out of Pennsylvania in favor of the sunny beaches of Florida? Or is it indicative of a trend we are about to see unfold of blue-chip recruits thinking highly enough of Penn State to list them in their top five, but not liking them enough to pull the trigger and commit to the Lions? Time will tell, but unless Penn State pulls in a blue chip recruit or two soon, I'm going to think about breaking the glass on the panic button.
Again, congratulations to A.J. Alexander. I hope you have a great career at Florida State. Unless they play Penn State in which case I hope you drop four passes and fumble before you leave the game with a non-career threatening injury.