Jason Witten presents Pitt DE Deslin Alexandre with Collegiate Man of the Year Award
Cowboys legend Jason Witten was back at The Star in Frisco this week to hand out the award that literally has his name all over it.
The tight end presented the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award to Pitt defensive end Deslin Alexandre. It’s the sixth year for the honor, which seeks to recognize the FBS player who “best demonstrates an outstanding record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity, and sportsmanship.”
The Haitian-born Alexandre has exhibited all of those things in abundance, using his own NIL opportunities to establish a program that provides basic needs like meals and education for children back in his native land. He’s also donated considerable time to Pittsburgh’s Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, literacy promotion efforts, outreach programs that aid the homeless, and a local youth football team.
A three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Football Team, Alexandre earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and is currently pursuing an MBA in Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.
Jason Witten with the finalists for the Jason Witten Man of the Year Award at The Star: Sean Clifford (Penn State), Alex Forsyth (Oregon) and Deslin Alexandre (Pittsburgh). This is the sixth year of the award. pic.twitter.com/DLAMzn5sxb
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) February 24, 2023
“He is a great leader and a role model for young athletes,” Witten said of Alexandre in a press release. “He came to the U.S. from Haiti at a young age and overcame a lot of challenges to become a great player and leader, both on campus and in the community. He is a perfect example of what a college student-athlete can be.”
The 24-year-old’s collegiate coach echoes those sentiments.
“I don’t think there are enough superlatives to describe Deslin and his achievements while at the University of Pittsburgh,” Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “His impact as a student, athlete, and community leader is so inspiring. He represents the absolute best of what it means to be a Pitt Panther.”
Alexandre has also been a shining example on the football field. As a fifth-year super-senior in 2022, the two-time captain and three-year starter recorded 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups, and a safety. He helped propel the Panthers to back-to-back Top-25 seasons and an ACC championship over his time at Pitt. All that, despite not playing organized football until his junior year of high school.
As the winner of the award, Alexandre will have a $10,000 contribution made in his name to Pitt’s athletic scholarship fund, courtesy of Jason and Michelle Witten.
Witten Collegiate Man of the Year ✨
Deslin Alexandre » @_Deslin
Winner 🏆 @WittenCMOY
Pitt's Alexandre honored for his "outstanding record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship."#H2P » https://t.co/60TDYhEbl9 pic.twitter.com/qiLATXLkWA
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) February 24, 2023
From an original group of 20 semifinalists for the honor, Alexandre joined Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and Oregon offensive lineman Alex Forsyth as the three semifinalists for the first college football award to focus primarily on a player’s leadership achievements.
“I’m honored to be associated with the award in that regard and proud of who they are and what they stand for,” Witten said of the trio, per the Cowboys website. “In the midst of this crazy world, to see these young athletes take advantage of their platform and give back to the less fortunate… It’s really cool.”
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