Fruita’s Hildebrand, Montrose’s Alexander sign to play FB at Mesa
Brandon Hildebrand considered following his brother into a life as a military academy cadet.
In the end, the lure of playing football close to home, with his family and friends nearby to watch, proved a bigger draw.
Hildebrand, the senior defensive lineman for the Central football team, made it official Tuesday in the library at Central High School when he signed a letter of intent to play football at Mesa State College.
“I just really like the aspect of how they play,” he said of coach Joe Ramunno’s power ground game, which fits Hildebrand’s preferred style.
Hildebrand was a defensive end last fall for the Warriors when they made the switch to the 3-5 defense. He’s projected to play somewhere on the defensive line for the Mavericks, after he starts hitting the weight room a little harder and gaining some bulk.
“I need to get on that and gain weight,” he said.
Hildebrand considered applying for the Air Force Academy, where his brother, Ben, completed his junior season on the Falcons’ football team last fall. His older brother had some advice about making the jump to college football.
“It’s just a lot heavier practice and more physical,” Brandon said.
Hildebrand wasn’t the only Western Slope player to sign a letter of intent Tuesday to Mesa State.
Montrose senior wide receiver and free safety Mac Alexander committed to play for the Mavs.
“They offered me more (scholarship) money,” Alexander said, “(and) they were the most interested in getting me on campus.”
Alexander entertained offers from Western State College and West Texas A&M before deciding on Mesa State, where he’s expected to compete for a job in the defensive backfield.
“They have a good program,” Alexander said. “It’s strong and they have a great (coaching) staff.”
Like Hildebrand, Alexander looks forward to playing college ball with former teammates and former Southwestern Conference opponents.
“I think it’ll be fun to show the Western Slope brand of football,” he said.