Alexander’s speed intrigues Notre Dame football staff

South Bend Tribune

Plenty of people had tried to explain to Terrence Alexander what to expect on his Notre Dame visit.

Early on in his two-day stay at Notre Dame this past weekend, the senior cornerback prospect realized the words really didn’t do it justice.

“The whole environment surprised me,” Alexander said. “You know about the tradition and everything about the college, but it's kind of hard to understand it until you've actually been there.”

Alexander arrived in South Bend on Friday after making the trip from River Ridge, La. He spent time getting to know various members of the coaching staff and current Irish players.

“I liked it a lot,” Alexander said. “I got to meet all the coaches and the players. The players were really cool and I liked the coaching staff.”

Cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks has recruited Alexander out of Louisiana, but the visit allowed Alexander to meet head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and safeties coach Bob Elliott as well. Alexander said he spent most of his time with the players getting to know three freshmen: cornerback Cole Luke, linebacker Jaylon Smith and safety Max Redfield.

The cornerback position hasn’t been a high priority for Notre Dame in the 2014 class. Nick Watkins remains the only verbally committed cornerback, but the Irish decided to make a late push for Alexander to start the year.

The 5-10, 180-pound Alexander may be a bit on the smaller side, but his speed makes him a tantalizing prospect. Alexander recorded a 4.45-second time in the 40-yard dash at The Opening last July and in track has posted personal records of 10.8 in the 100-meter dash and 21.8 in the 200.

“You go after guys who can run,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He's a physical 180-pounder, and he plays against great competition coming from Curtis.”

As a senior at John Curtis Christian, winners of three-straight state titles, Alexander tallied 32 tackles, two interceptions and 19 pass deflections. He also returned both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown. The combination of skills has made Alexander an intriguing prospect.

“I can play in man-to-man coverage and I'm an aggressive player,” Alexander said. “They want me as a kick returner and punt returner too. They said that position is open.”

Rivals rates Alexander as a three-star prospect and the No. 18 player in Louisiana. 247Sports slates him as a four-star prospect and the No. 29 cornerback in the 2014 class.

The Irish have firmly placed themselves in a three-team race for Alexander. He made an official visit to Stanford earlier this month and will travel to Ole Miss this weekend.

“After I'm done, I'll sit down and pick the pros and cons,” Alexander said. “I'll end up at the school where I can have the most success in football and academically."

Watch Alexander's senior highlights.

Cornerback Terrence Alexander of Louisiana visited Notre Dame last weekend. (David Grunfeld, / The Times-Picayune)