“I was reminded of that a good bit growing up,” said Alecxih, who started 26 of the 41 games he played at the University of Pittsburgh. “I would always go over there and we’d always talk about it, but I didn’t start playing defensive line until my junior year of high school. That’s when we really started talking about it.”
Even though Alecxih was a two-way starter at Penn Manor as a tight end and defensive end and also lettered in track and field, he was not recruited heavily at the next level. Upon his arrival at Pitt he decided to give it a try as a walk-on under former Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt and ended up redshirting his freshman year.
By the time Alecxih reached his junior year with the Panthers he had blossomed into an accomplished defensive tackle, ending his career with 20 sacks, 127 tackles (69 solo) and 33 tackles for loss (26 solo). He credits his grandfather and his father for instilling in him what he believes to be his strongest attribute, which is his work ethic.
“The thing I am always proud of is that I go 1,000 miles-an-hour every play,” Alecxih said. “I never take a play off and I’ve never missed a day to injury, so that’s what I’m most proud of. I like to think that I’m good at finding the ball and being productive. I think my numbers in college show that so I’m just ready to get started this summer.”
As far as what areas he feels he can improve on in order to succeed in the NFL, Alecxih wants to add upper body strength and get stronger in his chest. He also hopes to get stronger against double teams and play with his pads lower at the point of attack.
Alecxih has a keen awareness of some of the Pitt connections with the Dolphins, most notably with Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who starred for the Panthers from 1979-82. He is looking to parlay his opportunity this summer into a roster spot because he already has done just about every other job imaginable in the civilian world.
“I actually never worked on a farm, only a couple of times randomly,” Alecxih said. “But I worked at Dairy Queen, I sold door-to-door, I worked selling Christmas trees for my grandfather so I had to work a lot of jobs growing up. I know the meaning of hard work and I don’t want to do that my whole life. I want to play football. My grandfather’s last bit of advice was to just work hard.”
With the support of his family and especially his grandfather, Alecxih wants to keep that promise to himself and continue the family legacy – even if it did skip a generation.