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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 33 There are opportunities available at linebacker next season, opportunities the program's current sophomores could have right of first refusal toward, but opportuni- ties nonetheless. It does remain to be seen, probably, which linebacker slot Alexander would project toward. Wherever he plays, one would think he'd benefit from honing in on a single position after playing all over the place in high school. Height: 6-1 Weight: 240 High School: Hoffman Estates Hometown: River Grove, Ill. Senior Stats: 88 tackles J aylan Alexander will be a linebacker at Purdue, even though he accumulat- ed most of his Chicagoland high school notoriety as a wide receiver. That'll happen when a player is as dynamic as Alexander was offensively, tallying more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. But there's reason why Purdue wants the athlete as a linebacker. "He has more room to improve there, where down the line he can be a really good linebacker," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "... He's very good in pass situations, getting into his drops. He can come off the edge a little bit, too. He blitzed a lot and we had a few packages this year where he was the stand-up end in passing downs." Alexander was Purdue's first commitment in the 2018 class, at a time when the Boilermakers were the only Power 5 program without one. But he came to campus for a June camp, was offered and quickly accepted, choosing the Boilermakers over smaller-school op- portunities from programs like Western Kentucky and Wyoming along with MAC schools but also interest from Wisconsin and Northwestern. "Coach (Nick) Holt said he liked my work ethic and liked how I went full speed all the time, that even though I might have been making mistakes every now and then, I was still running full speed," Alexander said a couple months after the commitment. At Hoffman Estates, Alexander played wide receiver and linebacker primarily, but also ran for a couple touch- downs and threw for two others, plus played safety occasionally as a junior. Perhaps now that Alexander can focus on linebacker only, he can get to the field early in his career. "He's very driven, so I could see it," Heyse said. "In his head right now, he's thinking, 'I could go in there and play right away' and he'll go for it. He's not going to shy away." The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Alexander holds the Hoffman Estates program record for receptions, hauling in 150 for 2,037 yards in three seasons. As a senior, he had 72 catches, 1,049 yards and nine TDs. Jaylan Alexander Linebacker "The prospect who kicked off the 2018 class with his early June commitment is a downhill, hard-thumping gap-filler. A throw- back football player who does not provide a lot of flash, but will provide plenty of spit and vinegar." — Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt take Overview: Meet The Signees

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