Life as a True Freshman in Division 1 College Football: Tre Alexander lll

Life as a True Freshman in Division 1 College Football: Tre Alexander lll

Chaotic. Sloppy. Intense.

These are the first words that come to mind if you ever witness a college football spring practice. Spring practice doesn’t look pretty. It’s not supposed to.

With hundreds of participants, most notably coaches and players, inside the Indoor Practice Facilities at BYU, the sporadic jumble of position groups and coaches getting their athletes up to par make for a must-see event.

Successful seasons start in spring, and many 17- and 18-year-old commits want in on the action.

In comes Therrian “Tre” Alexander lll. The three-star defensive back recruit from Georgia knew that coming to participate in spring practice was necessary if he wanted to see playing time in fall, and he has been thrown into the fire on and off the field.

“I’ve been wanting to graduate early since I was in like, the eighth grade,” Alexander said. “That was always the plan.”

Hailing from Ellenwood, Georgia, a town about twenty minutes south of Atlanta, Alexander made a name for himself as a two-sport athlete. Not only did he shine at wide receiver and cornerback at Southwest DeKalb High School, but he also won the state title for track in the 400-meter dash.

Alexander is a top-notch athlete and at first glance you would never think that he was in high school just a few months ago.

He garnered interest from power five schools like Ole Miss, North Carolina State, and his hometown school, Georgia Tech, but Tre took a leap to a school, and area, that to him was relatively unknown: Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, approximately 1,880 miles from Atlanta.

“I had never seen it snow in my life… I might just call an uber or something, I ain’t driving in the snow,”

Tre Alexander lll on seeing snow for the first time

Coming to college in Provo has been more of a change than just the weather.

“Social life has been crazy… I’ve never gone to school and seen so many people,” Alexander said. “Classes have been a little difficult… it comes at a much faster pace.”

But Tre is not alone here in Provo. The football team has all the resources to help players acclimate into their new stage of their life.

Mike Hall, who played on BYU’s basketball team from 2003-2005, is now the director of player development. Essentially, he is the head of all the off the field aspects of life, or as Hall puts it, “the stuff no one else wants to do.” This includes finding housing, scheduling classes, handling finances, etc.

The biggest hurdle that Hall sees amongst freshmen? Time management.

“They’re used to having mom and dad saying, ‘It’s time to get up,’ and then they get here and are living with college aged students… they just aren’t used to it yet,” Hall said.

And the schedule for a student athlete is no joke. For the winter semester, the football team has classes from 8 a.m. to noon. From noon to 1 p.m. they can eat, get taped, and get ready for practice. At 1:30 the grueling practice begins. When practice ends, freshmen quickly realize that they don’t get to go home and plop onto their mattresses. They still have homework.

Alexander has had to find out fast what life is like living on his own. “I’m so use to my mom cooking for me or cleaning up after us… but now I have to do it by myself every single day,” Alexander said.

But with all the hectic scheduling and figuring out how to be an adult, football players to come to BYU for a reason, and that’s to play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in the fall.

“Rarely do you get that freshman kid who is just a beast,” Hall said. “They get humbled pretty quick. They’re not the biggest in the locker room, they’re not the strongest in the locker room, they’re not the fastest in the locker room… naturally they start to understand that this is different.”

Alexander realized that he needed to bulk up when he came to Provo and saw guys like Tyler Batty and Ben Bywater leading the defense. Adding more mass to his frame has become one of his biggest priorities before the season gets underway.

He also has had to rapidly learn the plays and formations of a new team, all at the highest level he’s ever played. One practice, wide receivers Parker Kingston and Darius Lassiter beat him for two touchdowns. This was his “welcome to the league” moment.

However, Alexander has had his fair share of bright moments in practice. In his first scrimmage, he found himself lined up against Chase Roberts, BYU’s leading receiver from 2023. They tried to attack Alexander by giving Roberts a fade route, but Alexander made a great play on the ball to force the incompletion. It was at that moment that he “started to get it… started to get comfortable.”

Alexander has made a name for himself by not only making impact plays on the field, but his personality makes him a team favorite, even amongst the upperclassmen. Wide receivers Keelan Marion and Lassiter, in particular, have taken Alexander under their wings.

In the middle of Alexander’s interview with The Daily Universe, Lassiter jumped in to proclaim, “Therrian Alexander lll up and coming rising star of spring ball!”

Alexander has his work cut out for him. It is an incredibly difficult task to start, play, or even dress for a Power 5 college football team as a true freshman. Keep in mind, if Alexander had not enrolled early, he would likely be attending his high school’s prom this month. Instead, he is waking up every day and deciding to work.

Could Alexander be the next true freshman to catch national attention at BYU? Last year it was running back LJ Martin, who turned heads, and in 2018, Zach Wilson displayed his NFL talent on his way to being the second pick in the NFL draft just two years later.

One thing is for certain. Tre Alexander and this year’s batch of freshman are willing to put in the work, and will do whatever is needed to get on the field come August.

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