Anderson, S.C. T. L. Hanna HS
NR: 44 SR: N/A Star Rating: ***
An Inside Texas conversation with Anderson head coach Scott Parker on Ben Alexander.
IT: What are Ben’s strengths as a football player?
Parker: He’s got God-given ability and power. He’s got great power and speed. He’s got great feet.
IT: What positions did he play for you?
Parker: Defensive tackle, a little bit of defensive end, fullback in a Maryland stack I and a little bit of tight end.
IT: What did the Texas coaches tell you they liked about Ben?
Parker: His power, speed and feet. He’s the strongest kid I’ve ever been around. I’ve been coaching for 23 years and had two (Terry Guess and Gabe Wilkins) go on to the pros and he’s got them both beat.
IT: In what areas does Ben need to improve on to be successful at the college level?
Parker: He’s just got to get used to the collegiate level. I think he’s more than ready to be in the collegiate level. He’s going to have to get up there and get adapted to the day in and day out hitting that takes place, because down here we really don’t have that many kids that can test Ben. I know that he’s going to have kids that can test him over there. That’s really the key for him, getting used to the grind so to speak.
IT: What do you expect Ben to work on prior to his arrival in Austin?
Parker: Well he’s already working on his weight right now. He’s wanting to get down to about 280 and he’s doing a good job. He’s over here lifting and running every day or roughly four days out of five so he’s doing a good job.
IT: What are his current measurables?
Parker: He’s 6-foot about 291 right now and runs a forty in about 4.8, 4.9, somewhere in that category.
IT: Is Ben a leader and if so, how does he lead?
Parker: He is. It’s just natural. He’s extremely strong. He led by example in the weight room and on the field. He has a way of pulling kids together and getting them to play.
IT: What did Ben mean to your football program?
Parker: Well, he’s been starting for me since he was a ninth-grader and so I guess the big impact is going take place this coming year when we don’t have him anymore. We haven’t had to worry about people trying to run on the inside. We’ve had to worry about the outside. I guess that’s one thing is that he’s made one of the things we had to work on, we didn’t have to work on so much because he took it away from them.
IT: Is there a defining for you that exemplifies Ben’s ability as a football player?
Parker: Well, I noticed that in the ninth grade. I coached small college football for 12 years. When I came here and found a ninth-grade defensive lineman that could step on the field and play at a 4A high school that was very impressive and he did. He’s been impressive the whole time he’s been here.
IT: Does Ben participate in other sports besides football?
Parker: He used to be a wrestler. In fact, in the ninth grade he gave up wrestling. He would have ended up winning state, but he gave it up before he got there. That’s really it. Ben really is focused on football the entire time he’s been here.
IT: Did you know Ben would end up at Texas?
Parker: I did.
IT: How did you know?
Parker: Ben was recruited hard by everyone. Notre Dame was right in the thick of things, but when Ben made his trip out to Austin that kind of made his mind up for him and he was done thinking about it.
UT's Signing Day bio: Prep All-American who was a four-year starter, primarily at DT … totaled 302 tackles, 68 TFL, 15 sacks, four blocked kicks and four fumble recoveries for his career … a versatile two-way star who played defensive tackle, defensive end and fullback as a senior … posted 56 tackles, 16 TFL and four sacks despite missing four games due to injury … named first-team all-state … was a prep All-American as a senior … played defensive tackle, defensive end, tight end and fullback as a junior … earned all-state, all-area and all-region honors … recorded 77 tackles, 30 TFL and seven sacks … registered 16 tackles, five TFL and one sack versus Greenwood … played DT and TE as a sophomore … earned all-area and all-region honors … competed in wrestling as a freshman … named to the honor roll in every semester but one in high school … helped his mother in working with the mentally challenged in the summer of 2005 by assisting in meal and activity set up … participated in a food drive with Anderson Interfaith Ministries in the summer of 2004 … volunteered time as a speaker at local S.C. elementary schools … enjoys golf, tennis and fishing … played drums in middle school … father, Kim, started four years at defensive tackle for The Citadel from 1980-83 … full name is Benjamin Grant Alexander … born Aug. 27, 1987 in Augusta, Ga. … lived in New Ellington, S.C. until age 3 … lived in Newark, Ohio, from ages 3-10 … moved to Anderson, S.C. in the fifth grade.
"Texas is a great school in a great town with great football. There are great academics, and I didn't think I could make a better choice than The University of Texas with all the tradition, all the people that have been through there, and I don't think it gets any better. You always here about Texas football, that it's one of the top programs in the country, and now it's THE top program in the country. I went and took a visit and it just blew me away. It's different from the schools in the ACC and SEC. It's a totally different feel and a feel that I liked."
NEXT UP: JEVAN SNEAD