FORT WORTH, Texas — So far this season, we’ve seen some of the best high school football players in the state of Texas forgo their senior seasons. Exhibit A and B with Evan Stewart and Quinn Ewers. But there’s one man who will do anything in his power to play, even if it means playing in a different state. 

What You Need To Know

  • Bear Alexander stands 6-foot-3, weighs 325 pounds and is one of the best defensive lineman in the class of 2022

  • Bear’s transfer from Denton Ryan to Fort Worth Brewer was denied by the UIL. So instead of sitting out his senior season, he moved to Florida to play for IMG Academy

  • In terms of where he’ll play at the next level, Bear is between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas A&M Aggies

His name is Bear Alexander. And yes, his name matches his game. He’s fast, he’s big and he’s dangerous. 

“The violence [is my favorite part]. Being able to stop the run, play the pass and celebrate with my brothers afterwards. There is no better feeling,” Bear said.

Bear has been around the block. He’s been to five different high schools in four years. Last season, following a remarkable state championship run with the Denton Ryan Raiders, he decided to transfer again to spend his senior season with his father, who had just landed a coaching job at Brewer High School.

“I’m his full-time dad. I know I’m not his biological father, but to us I’m his dad. That’s how we treat it,” said Bear’s father, Tony Jones. “So if I move, sometimes my family has to move with me.”

The bags were packed. The dream to play alongside one another was there. The opportunity, however, was short-lived. Simply put, the UIL denied Bear’s transfer one week before Brewer’s season opener. 

“It was heartbreaking,” said Bear. “To go out here every day with a great group of guys, a great coaching staff that won state at Desoto and be on the field with my father, that was an amazing feeling. So when that was taken away from me, it was absolutely heartbreaking."

“It’s hurtful to be robbed of those opportunities. But you just try to find a way to move forward,” Jones said. 

So, instead of sitting out the season like some of his class of 2022 peers, Bear took action.

“I had a lot of options,” he said. “I could have graduated early, I could have gone to a private school close to home, I could have given up football altogether. But I’m not mentally weak. So leaving a sport I’ve been playing damn near half my life was not an option.” 

So the next challenge was finding a new football home. In order to find one on such short notice, however, Bear had to leave the Lone Star State for the Sunshine State. That’s when IMG Academy came into the picture. 

“Once it came time and it was necessary to make the move, we made it,” Bear said. “It’s the closest thing to a college atmosphere. You go against a group of guys with the same talents. They’re all five stars. It’s a brotherhood and it’s family.”

A home away from home, a family away from family. Although he'll be in another state, his father will be there in spirit.

“My dad and I talk every day. So honestly he doesn't miss a beat,” said Bear. “I’ll probably call him at halftime during games. It’s that genuine.”

Bear Alexander may be the best Texas player to not play in the state of Texas. But he’s found a place to help prepare him for the next level. Where will that be? It still remains to be seen. Bear plans to make his decision between Texas A&M and Georgia at the Under Armour All-American game.