Backup quarterback Christian Alexander — the offensive MVP of FIU’s Bahamas Bowl victory against Toledo — has decided to leave the university as a graduate transfer.
He has yet to announce his new school, but he told the Miami Herald on Monday that he will be visiting Murray State, Rhode Island and Wagner, starting this Friday.
Alexander, a 6-2, 225-pound redshirt junior, was stuck at FIU behind James Morgan, who missed the bowl game because a sore throwing shoulder but has one more year of eligibility remaining.
Against Toledo, Alexander gave a lot of coaches around the country who are looking for a quarterback a glimpse of what he can do, passing for 209 yards and running for 83 more in his first collegiate start.
Alexander completed 17-of-26 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions, and his 7.5 rushing average proved he can be the dual threat coaches like in modern offenses.
“He was outstanding,” FIU coach Butch Davis said. “Give him credit — he did what he knew he could do.”
In the spring, it appeared Alexander would replace Seattle Seahawks seventh-round pick Alex McGough as FIU’s starting quarterback. But Morgan arrived in the summer as a graduate transfer from Bowling Green, and he ultimately beat out Alexander in a tight battle.
Morgan became Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year. Meanwhile, Alexander threw 55 passes this past season, completing 65 percent — the same percentage as Morgan.
Before Alexander announced his decision to leave FIU on Twitter, Davis told the Herald: “He and I have talked, and he could potentially leave. We will look at the options, and, if [leaving] is what he wants to do, I will support him.
“But we’d love to have him be part of our team next year. He’s a great kid.”
Alexander was part of FIU’s 2015 recruiting class, organized by then-coach Ron Turner. Also part of that class were:
▪ Defensive end/outside linebacker Fermin Silva, who was injured most of this season. He could return as a fifth-year senior if he doesn’t turn pro.
▪ Redshirt junior running back Anthony Jones, who missed seven games this season after he was the victim of a drive-by shooting, could also opt to turn pro but ...
“He’s so far under the [NFL] radar that I would hate to see him make that decision right now,” Davis said. “I would love to have him back and rush for 1,000 yards [in 2019].”
Davis also said Jones is on schedule to graduate in December of 2019.
▪ Redshirt junior Maurice Alexander, who was recruited as a quarterback, became a first-team All-C-USA punt returner this year after Davis moved him to wide receiver.
▪ Redshirt junior middle linebacker Sage Lewis set the school record for single-season tackles.
▪ Senior punter Stone Wilson made second-team C-USA this year.
▪ Redshirt junior wide receiver Austin Maloney made 30 catches, scored five touchdowns and led the team by averaging 20.3 yards per reception.
▪ Redshirt junior safety Olin Cushion was third on the team in tackles.
That productive, Turner-led recruiting class also featured senior center Neal Mars, who started 15 games before a knee injury sidetracked him; wide receiver Julian Williams, a junior-college transfer who made 41 catches for FIU before graduating; senior starting cornerback Emmanuel Lubin; and senior defensive tackle Milord Juste, who made two starts but was mostly a backup in the rotation.
THIS AND THAT
▪ FIU’s men’s basketball team (10-5, 1-1) will host Charlotte on Thursday and Old Dominion on Saturday. It could be redemption time for FIU’s star point guard Brian Beard, who is coming off a 1-for-12 shooting performance in a loss to UAB on Saturday.
▪ Wide receiver C.J. Worton, a fifth-year senior who played one season for FIU after transferring from the University of Florida, is hoping for a shot at the NFL this year. He led FIU in 2018 in touchdown catches (six) and receiving yards (627).
▪ FIU offensive guard Jordan Budwig was named to the AP’s All-Bowl team.