Well-earned moniker for Panthers player Maurice Alexander

FIU football wide receiver, Maurice Alexander, is known for giving the opposing defense a hard time when making catches and touchdowns. However, Alexander was given the nickname ‘hard time’ by his mother and grandmother long before he set foot on a field.

After three days in labor and following health risks between mother and baby, the doctors performed an emergency C-section. Alexander also had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, which caused an even harder time for all. Thus, the nickname was born.

Growing up, Alexander was a natural athlete and enjoyed playing football. At Booker T. Washington, he played quarterback, breaking records and bringing home the 2015 state title.

Looking up to diverse NFL players like Julian Edelman – someone who was similar in size and athleticism, a quarter back in college and later the talented Patriots wide receiver – Alexander was determined to do the same.

It wasn’t until he got to FIU that he was ready for the challenge. He came to an agreement with FIU coach, Butch Davis, to switch his position from quarterback to wide receiver/punt returner.

FIU football player Maurice Alexander
Photo courtesy FIU Athletics

That decision worked. Alexander was the only FIU player to score touchdowns three different ways last year. He scored five times as a receiver, twice as a running back and once on a 69-yard punt return.

As a senior majoring in recreation and sports management, Alexander hopes to finish this football and school year strong and eventually earn a spot in the NFL as a receiver/returner.

This article first appeared in the Miami Herald on August 9, 2019.