“Your family can’t benefit off of you if you’re dead” KSU’s Alexander opts out

K-State senior defensive back Jonathan Alexander has opted out for the upcoming 2020 football season. Multiple factors led to his decision.
Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Jonathan Alexander was preparing for a monster 2020 season.

“This was like the most I’ve been excited in my whole career.” Jonathan Alexander, Kansas State senior defensive back, said.

His perspective changed a month ago when he tested positive for COVID-19 .

“It was horrible.” Alexander said. “Every human need that humans interaction. And for me to have to sit out for like 14, 15 days, that was just so hard.”

Now, Alexander has become the first Kansas State athlete to opt out the upcoming season.

“It was so difficult.” Alexander said. “I didn’t like the decision, but I feel like it’s going to be best in the long run.”

After making his decision, the feeling of leaving behind his family on the field hurt.

“It really feels like one-on-one.” Alexander said. “Like just being on that island and they throw up a fade ball and you just watch the receiver, catch the ball. It’s just like, dang. I let my team down because they put you on that island, that means they can trust you. All your teammates got faith that you’re going to win. So for me, it’s just like, dang, like I really let my teammates down.”

Even when he was on the field, the looming pandemic impacted Jonathan’s game.

“So many people were contracting the virus from different schools and these are the dudes that I’m going to be going against.” Alexander said. “I can’t really tackle this dude. Cause I’ll be thinking about, Oh shoot, who had the virus? Who do I need to try to stay away from?”

But, the biggest factor leading to opting out was a want to protect his loved ones. Days before he tested positive for COVID-19, he had been with his family.

“Just realizing that I could have gave the virus to my niece, my nephew, any of my family members that played a huge role.” Alexander said. “They’re the ones that I’m doing this for. I can’t put them in harm’s way. Family always say health is wealth. Your family can’t benefit off of you if you’re dead.”

It'll be another year before Jonathan will be back on the field.

“Just keep my head down and grind.” Alexander said. “That’s my only focus.”

He's already building expectations for his return.

“The best in the nation.” Alexander said.

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