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Pitt DE Deslin Alexandre Awarded Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Honor



Pitt football.

Deslin Alexandre is the 2023 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year.

Alexandre, who was awarded the honor over Penn State’s Sean Clifford and Oregon’s Alex Forsyth, was deemed as the FBS player ‘who best demonstrates an outstanding record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship,’ as announced Thursday night.

“I am honored to present the sixth annual Collegiate Man of the Year to Deslin Alexandre,” Witten said in the press release. “He is a great leader and a role model for young athletes. 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.”

He established the 5th Down Campaign earlier this year, partnering with the Pittsburgh Kid’s Foundation, as a way to provide an extra ‘fifth down’ for the kids in his native Haiti. The goal was set to provide basic needs, such as meals and education, for children in Cap-Haitien, Haiti — reaching and exceeding his goal of $50,000.

Alexandre has also spent time with the local Homewood youth football team and, along with Calijah Kancey and Brandon Hill, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in the Children’s Hospital to serve lunch to families.

“I don’t think there are enough superlatives to describe Deslin and his achievements while at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi said in the statement. “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. Deslin has given Pitt so many reasons to be proud and I know he will make the Witten family proud as the recipient of this outstanding award.”

Aside from his work for the 5th Down Campaign, and his efforts on the football field where he’s served as one of Pitt’s captains for the last two seasons, he’s been busy in the classroom and the community.

“Alexandre is a perennial Honor Roll student pursuing an MBA in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business,” the Witten CMofY release stated. “In the community, Alexandre sets the pace for Pitt’s entire athletic department, passionately dedicating time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, literacy promotion and Divine Mercy Parish’s historic “Red Door” program that provides meals and clothing for the homeless.”

In five seasons at Pitt, Alexandre has compiled 131 tackles (59 solo), 29.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, an interception, seven pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.

As a super-senior captain in 2022, he racked up 29 tackles (13 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups and forced a safety in a win over Duke.

It’s an incredible honor for Alexandre, who has shown a level of dedication on and off the football field for Pitt during his entire time in Pittsburgh. And he acknowledged late last year that it wouldn’t be possible without the help he’s received.

“For everyone, even Marcus Minor’s mom has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes helping people get out, so I’m thankful for that,” Alexandre said in November. “I’m thankful to all of you guys for helping to get the story out, Ms. Celeste (Walsh) helping me get this together, everyone who has had a hand in it, who donated. If you hear this, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to help people, thank you to them for helping people also, it takes us all.”

Alexandre, who was impressive at the Collegiate Bowl earlier this year, will look to make the jump to the NFL in April.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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