LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The 2016 football season will be remembered by most University of Louisville fans as Lamar Jackson's Heisman season. But Jackson wasn't the only star to shine last year.
In his sophomore season, cornerback/punt returner, Jaire Alexander led the team with five interceptions, and emerged as a big playmaker on special teams. He led the team in punt-return yards, highlighted by a 69-yard touchdown against Florida State.
In the Cards’ loss at Clemson, Alexander intercepted Tigers quarterback, DeShaun Watson twice. Coming into this season, Alexander says he takes a lot of confidence from his big performances in last year’s biggest games.
“I took a whole bunch of that into my game coming into camp actually," Alexander said. "Being able to do that against some of the top quarterbacks is always a good feeling."
One of those top quarterbacks Alexander has faced is the guy in his own locker room, Heisman trophy winner, Lamar Jackson. Alexander is known to be full of energy, full of trash talk and even has his own dance that he debuted for the world against Wake Forest last season.
Jackson said in a practice he was the recipient of Alexander’s trash talk and dance after an interception.
“I was mad," Jackson said. "He caught the interception, and I was like chill out. I was like chill out."
Jackson admits that practicing against Alexander is making him better, because he feels Alexander is the best defensive back in the nation.
Jackson is not the only player on UofL’s offensive unit who gets caught in the crosshairs of Alexander’s trash talk. The Cards secondary have dubbed themselves the Tax Boys heading into the season. In response, the receiving corps has named themselves the Bread Winners.
Alexander, who’s known for his interesting responses to questions, dropped another gem in response to the wide receivers latest claim.
“You know, we bring the ham and cheese," Alexander said. "I guess they bring the bread. You can't have a ham and cheese sandwich without the ham and cheese".
In spite of his comedic exploits, Alexander is considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the country. The preseason, All-ACC first-teamer ranks seventh in school history, with 433 punt return yards. Head Coach Bobby Petrino says he loves the energy he brings to every practice.
“Jaire’s always been very physical," Petrino said. "A very tough player, really good tackler, he keeps everybody loose, and just has a great personality.”
At a school that has produced NFL star cornerbackes, Ray Buchanan and Sam Madison, Jaire Alexander could be next in line.
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