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June 19, 2021

Prep Football: Alexander-Jones inks with Minot State University

GILROY—Darius Alexander-Jones II received a special going away present before his signing day event.
Former Gilroy High coach Brian Boyd gave Alexander-Jones his varsity football jersey prior to the Mustang signing his letter of intent to play for Minot State University Feb. 11.
An emotional Boyd sang the praises of the young man he considers a son to a packed house in the Cal-SOAP room at Gilroy High. Boyd has coached Alexander-Jones since he started playing football 10 years ago. 
“He was our leader on the football team,” Boyd said. “When we walked out, I was the first in line and he always had my back, he was right next to me. I know that to this day he still has my back and I have his.”
And the feeling is mutual for Alexander-Jones.
“It was special,” he said of receiving the jersey. “Coach Boyd’s a dad (to me), so it was special getting that from him. I know it means a lot to him and I’m going to get that framed. I’m going to hang it up on the wall in my dorm.”
Alexander-Jones had a standout senior season, earning First Team All-League honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman—something Boyd said he had never seen before. The Mustang racked up 65 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery this season and even scored a touchdown in the team’s 35-7 win over Pajaro Valley in Week 10.
But as the prep season ended, Alexander-Jones said he was left wondering what was next. It was only a couple months ago that he was mulling over his options, but when he and his father, Darius Alexander-Jones I, visited Minot State they knew they had found the right fit.
But for his mother Juanita, Darius II’s impending departure has been a little harder to handle. The senior will head east the week after graduating from Gilroy High to embark on the next phase of his life.
“His dad is fine, I’m just a little emotional,” Juanita said while flashing a brave smile. “It’s just far away, but what can I do? It’s his life. Like he told me, he just needs to spread his wings and fly. I’m OK with that.”
It’s been a long road for Darius II. He began is football career 10 years ago and has logged countless hours to achieve his goal of playing collegiate football. The 6-foot, 2-inch and 290-pound lineman rises with the sun for 5 a.m. workouts four to five times a week and goes running after school. Even in the offseason, he lifts weights late at night to become bigger, faster and stronger. And the work is not done.
“It’s not over, this is just a drop in the bucket,” his father said. “This is just the next phase of his life. You earn your spot by working hard and mom and dad have no influence anymore. It’s all about him working hard.”
The soft-spoken Darius II thanked his teammates, coaches, parents, friends and relatives for their support in helping him reach this point. Before he was through he turned to thank the man who has coached him in not only football, but in life, too: his father.
“There’d be no (No.) 52 without you,” Darius II said to his dad. “He’s been my dad, my life coach, everything. Even before I ever put on pads, he’s always been there for me. I want to be him when I grow up.”

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