The Pitt News

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Deslin Alexandre

Deslin Alexandre decided to enroll early at Pitt for the spring 2017 semester after originally making a verbal commitment to attend N.C. State. Courtesy of Pitt Athletics / UPMC Pitt LiveWire

Deslin Alexandre decided to enroll early at Pitt for the spring 2017 semester after originally making a verbal commitment to attend N.C. State. Courtesy of Pitt Athletics / UPMC Pitt LiveWire

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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When Deslin Alexandre became the 19th member of the Pitt football team’s 2017 recruiting class, it signaled a major coup for the Panthers — while also highlighting the volatile nature of the recruiting process.

Alexandre, a 6-foot-3, 229-pound defensive end from Deerfield Beach, Florida, is a three-star prospect, according to Rivals. He announced his decision to join the Panthers next season on Dec. 16 via Twitter.

But Alexandre had already given his verbal commitment in June to attend North Carolina State before changing his mind and enrolling at Pitt. The Pitt News met with Alexandre to discuss that change in commitment, what enticed him about Pitt and how he envisions fitting in with the Panthers on defense.

The Pitt News: What went into your decision to flip your commitment from N.C. State to Pitt?

Deslin Alexandre: Just on my visit, my visit was great. I got to be around some of the guys, the coaches, got a good feel of Pittsburgh itself. I’ve never been here before my visit, just [going off] all the things the coaches had to say. But I just got the chance to see for myself what an amazing place it is.

TPN: Pitt’s defense struggled a lot against the pass this year. Is that something that motivates you to come in and change the culture as a pass rusher?

DA: Yeah, definitely. That has something to do with it. Either way, you’ve got to get to the ball, and [the coaches] are going to put us in position to get to the ball. They want me to just work, so I have to come in and do what I’ve got to do.

TPN: Stopping the run is something Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi preaches as his main focus. Is that something you feel like you can help with right away?

DA: Well, if you can’t stop the run, then that gives [the opponent] the play-action. So first of all, you have to be able to stop the run, then you move to the next … as a player, you do what you have to do to help your team. So if that’s what my team needs me to do, then I’ll do it.

TPN: Pitt has some seniors graduating on the defensive line. Does that give you hope that you’ll be able to play earlier here than at other schools?

DA: Well, either way, it gives me a chance to work hard. I have to work hard to be on the field. Nothing’s given to you … I just wanted to come somewhere I liked that could take me to the next level. And I think Coach Narduzzi and Coach [Josh] Conklin’s defense can do that.

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Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Deslin Alexandre