USC coach Lincoln Riley and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch were after Alexander as soon as they could be within the rules of the transfer portal, and it didn’t take long for the versatile defensive lineman to land on his next destination.
“I mean, it’s Lincoln Riley,” Alexander told ESPN. “Just watching their production from last year, they lost two games, barely lost to Utah … if Caleb [Williams] wasn’t hurt, they would have definitely been in that. It’s Lincoln Riley, and I’m excited to go play for that guy.”
Alexander was the No. 56 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class and the No. 5 defensive tackle overall. He originally committed to Georgia out of high school, decommitted, considered Texas A&M then recommitted to Georgia before signing with the Bulldogs during the 2022 cycle.
Alexander played 163 defensive snaps as a true freshman this past season for the national champions and recorded nine tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. He entered the transfer portal when the spring transfer window opened April 15 and received offers from Colorado, Texas, Oregon, Miami and Penn State, among others.
“Not to brag on myself, but everyone wants the Big Bear,” Alexander told ESPN. “Everyone needs a big 300-pounder that can move with the twitch, the burst, the explosion that I bring to the game. Everyone needed that as a part of their defense.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for him to leave Georgia, he said, but after one season under his belt, Alexander felt as though it wasn’t the right fit and it was time to move on.
“I feel as if there wasn’t a significant amount of snaps [at Georgia],” Alexander said about why he entered the portal. “I was more of a pass-rush specialist in year one, so coming into the spring, I wanted to be in a position where I could show my versatility as a player. I felt like I wasn’t able to do that at Georgia. I was a third-down specialist, and I’m more of a first-, second-down player. I can play every down.”
Alexander took a visit to USC and said Riley factored into his decision, as did Grinch, who will now coach him on defense for the Trojans.
“We were talking schematics, and I fit into that defense,” Alexander said. “I fit into the scheme.”
Alexander adds to a good transfer haul for Riley and his staff, joining Texas A&M defensive line transfer Anthony Lucas, Purdue defensive lineman Jack Sullivan, Oklahoma State linebacker Mason Cobb, Georgia State linebacker Jamil Muhammad and Arizona defensive lineman Kyon Barrs.
USC lands commitment from Georgia transfer DL Bear Alexander