Steeping up to the line of scrimmage

Chris Alexander, a junior from Lake Butler, Fla., will lead the Lions as starting quarterback this season.

The Lions have a new face at quarterback this year — at 6’10”, 190 lbs., junior Chris Alexander is set to open the season against Miles College in Birmingham Sept. 2.

Chris Alexander comes from Lake Butler, Fla., where he attended Lake Butler High School. This will be Alexander’s first year leading the Lions’ offense, which is returning few players from the previous season.

Alexander said he’s been playing football since childhood.

“I love (football),” Alexander said. “I  (have) been doing it ever since I was a kid.”  

Alexander played backup quarterback to Lee Chapple for the previous two seasons; last season he appeared in six games and completed 14 of 17 passes for 208 yards.

While it’s Alexander first year of starting full time, both players and coaches are confident that he’s prepared to work hard.

“I don’t think that there is not a lot of pressure on him from the outside,” Gross said. “I think that Chris is a competitor, and competitors put a lot of pressure on themselves… I think he’ll be fine.”

Gross said Chris has made a tremendous improvement since spring training, adding that it had a lot to do with repetitions.

“I have no doubt that he will (get better),” Gross said. “He’ll study the game and go back to reps. He’s going to learn from mistakes earlier in the season and build on it to become a better player.”

Players also stated confidence in Alexander’s ability as a player and a leader.

Former quarterback Lee Chapple said he believes that Alexander has what it takes to lead the team.

“I think that a quarterback like Chris can make everyone better, including himself,” Chapple said. “From what I hear of the new system that Coach Wallace is running, (it) fits Chris perfectly.”

Many players stated that Chris worked very hard even when he was a backup behind Lee Chapple.

“He most definitely worked hard as if he was the starting quarterback,” said fellow player and running back Lamonte Thompson.

“He worked as if he was one player away from starting,” said running back Chris Coffey.

Coaches and players both said Alexander was always in the weight room, practice and meetings early.

Alexander said he’s looking forward to playing for Coach Wallace this season.

“(Coach Wallace’s return) has a great impact on the team because he focuses on discipline,” Alexander said. “He’s a great coach that I’m proud to be playing for.”

Alexander’s goal for the season couldn’t be any simpler than going for it all, he said.

“(My main goal is) winning a national championship.”

The Lions are set to open up their season against Miles College Sept. 2 at Legion Field.