Rams' fourth-round pick worked as janitor at stadium
The St. Louis Rams selected Utah State safety Maurice Alexander, who worked as a janitor cleaning up the Rams' stadium on game days after getting kicked off his Eureka, Mo., team for one season.
Ccoach Jeff Fisher called Maurice Alexander's workout with the Rams a few weeks ago 'outstanding.'
Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports
By Nate Latsch
ST. LOUIS -- Maurice Alexander used to dream about this.
When he was working as a janitor cleaning up the Edward Jones Dome after Rams games during the 2012 season, the St. Louis native couldn't help but dream about a potential future playing out on that field, however unlikely it might have been at the time.
"That's what really motivated me, seeing myself working there and being around that field," Alexander said Saturday. "I've been working there since I was a younger kid. It's just a dream come true. Every time that I went to work, I always stood on the end of that field and I just looked at it and was like, 'This could be my dream. This could be my dream spot.' And look where I'm at now."
Alexander had no clue that his life was about to take the turn it did when he answered his phone Saturday. On the other end of the line was coach Jeff Fisher, who called and told him to get ready to be a Ram.
Oh, yeah. St. Louis' fourth-round pick (No. 110 overall) is ready.
"It was the greatest phone call I've ever gotten in my life and I was just so happy that Coach and Mr. (Les) Snead called me," Alexander said. "It was a great feeling. I had no clue."
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound safety from Utah State took a circuitous route to arrive here.
Alexander became a disruptive defensive lineman and linebacker at nearby Eureka High School, then spent two years at Arizona Western College before moving on to Utah State. He started eight games there during the 2011 season but was kicked off the team and landed in jail after a fight with a friend and teammate following a party.
That's how Alexander ended up cleaning the Edward Jones Dome and thinking about his future.
"It made me the man I am today," he said. "It's a lesson learned. Me and my teammate, we're great friends. It was a mistake. The Rams' organization, they know about it, and it made me a better man today. Utah State University believed in me, they brought back.
"I'm a great guy, I'm a great friend, I'm a great person to be around and I'm good in the locker room. I'd like to thank Utah State, I'd like to thank (coach) Fisher, I'd like to thank Mr. Snead for believing in me. It's a lesson learned."
Alexander returned to school and shined as Utah State's safety in 2013, when he earned honorable mention All-Mountain West honors and impressed enough as a prospect that he earned an invitation to the NFL's Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
It's a blessing. It's a dream come true.
The Rams believe in Alexander.
So much so that they used their only pick in the fourth round on him, rather than risk losing him.
"It was his first time playing safety, but he's aggressive, big, athletic and will hit," said Snead, the Rams' GM. "If you look at the numbers, sacks, caused fumbles, tackles for losses. ... I won't get into our new scheme, but there's definitely a role for this type of player in our defense."
Alexander, as a local prospect, was able to visit Rams Park and work out for the team's coaches. It's safe to say he impressed them.
"He's a very, very talented player and has huge upside," Fisher said. "The drills, the combine drills in the building, the football knowledge and instincts are outstanding and we're very excited to have him. We'll plug him in packages, and he's one of those guys that most likely is active on Sundays as a special teamer as well, immediately."
Alexander has a good story, going from cleaning the Dome to getting a chance to play in it. But he has an opportunity to fill a need for the Rams as a big, physical safety in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' defense.
On Saturday, he was just thankful for the chance. He traveled a long road to get here and learned his lessons along the way.
"It's a blessing," Alexander said. "It's a dream come true. My mother is happy. I'd just like to give a shout out to Mr. Snead, coach Fisher for believing in me and Mr. (Stan) Kroenke. This is a great opportunity."
You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter (@natelatsch) or email him at email@example.com.