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October 12, 2012

U.S. Army honor a blessing for Alexander

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl roster

For Mackensie Alexander, being named a U.S. Army All-American is both a blessing and a "dream come true."

The four-star cornerback has been working hard at his craft and recognizes that "you get in what you put in." At Immokalee (Fla.), the players don't have the best facilities available to them, but that didn't prevent Indian alum and Arizona Cardinals running back Javarris James, who loaded watermelons in the back of pick up trucks at a young age, from making it in the NFL.

It's that type of work ethic that has been passed down to Alexander. He remarked, "Everyone around here is humble. We may not have a lot, but we make the most of it." He is taking advantages of any and all opportunities to compete.

As a junior, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back made his mark at the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio.

"I went out there to prove myself," Alexander said. "I wanted to show everyone that I'm the No. 1 corner. Even if I didn't attend the combine I knew I had the ability to play in the game."

This time around he will be looking to bring some of his Florida swagger back to the place that launched him into the top echelon of elite prospects.

"Coming out of Florida prepares you to play against these type of athletes," Alexander said. "Where I'm from we have the most speed and the best players. There is really nothing like it."

Alexander will be one of the top uncommitted players in the all-star showcase and he knows committed prospects will be trying to sway him. He doesn't have any plans to do the "hats on the table" prop to pick a school.

"There is no pressure on me to commit or anything," he said. "I don't have any plans to pull the trigger while I'm out there."

Immokalee has produced former NFL All-Pro running back Edgerrin James along with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Brian Rolle and the aforementioned James of the Cardinals.

Yet Alexander is the first U.S. Army All-American in school history. He understands that the honor is big for everyone involved in his life and development.

"This is big for me and my family, but it's big for the school, players, and coaches," he said. "Playing in the game has been a goal of mine since my sophomore season. I'm trying to stay level headed about it all."

There is still room to grow as a player on and off the field. Alexander knows there is a lot on the line for him.

"My brother, Mackenro, and I will be the first in our family to go to college to play ball. We are blessed to be in this position, but at the end of the day it's all about getting that degree."



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