Kansas St/Mississippi St Football 2019 Jonathan Alexander

Kansas State defensive back Jonathan Alexander (17) prepares to line up against Mississippi State during the second half of a game in Starkville, Miss., on Sept. 14. Alexander announced Friday that he would opt out of the upcoming season.

After an eventful offseason, Jonathan Alexander is taking this year off. A rising senior defensive back for Kansas State, Alexander announced Friday that he was opting out of the 2020 season. It came on the same day the Wildcats opened preseason camp.

Alexander shared the news on his personal Twitter account.

“After talking to my coaches and family ... it is with much prayer, thought and consideration that I have decided to step away from football for a season,” Alexander wrote. “I believe that I must be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy before returning to the game I once loved. Having already tested positive for COVID-19 once and having to isolate was one of THE hardest things I’ve ever had to endure both mentally and emotionally, and I know I’m not ready to risk my last season of football knowing I can not only put others at risk, but also put myself at risk to miss ANY opportunities to put myself in a better position in the future.

“I will use the time away to focus on all aspects of my mental and physical health and being the biggest Kansas State football fan. I know that when I have confidence that my health and safety are secure that I will be better for me and my team.”

Alexander followed up later, announcing that he will use a redshirt to protect his final season of eligibility.

In its most recent testing update July 13, K-State Athletics announced 29 student-athletes had tested positive for the coronavirus. Alexander is the only one publicly known, as he revealed on Twitter that same day that he was one of the active cases.

Prior to revealing his positive test, Alexander already had made headlines in June, as he was one of K-State’s most vocal players in the wake of a controversial tweet sent out by a fellow student, which mocked the death of George Floyd. That tweet led to immediate condemnation from numerous K-State student-athletes, with the football team temporarily going on strike and vowing not to “play, practice or meet” until high-ranking university officials and athletics department employees promised to repeatedly — and loudly — denounce racism in all forms.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Alexander played in all 12 regular-season games for the Wildcats last season, collecting 25 tackles (four for loss), two pass breakups, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also blocked a punt in K-State’s win over TCU that led to the Wildcats’ first touchdown. Alexander set a personal best for tackles (four) versus Texas, with both of his pass breakups coming in the regular-season finale against Iowa State.

His career highlight, however, came in last season’s opener, when he stripped a ballcarrier and returned it 25 yards for a score — the Wildcats’ first touchdown on a fumble recovery in 23 games.

Alexander joined K-State last year, after signing with the team as part of its 2019 recruiting class.

After graduating from Trimble Tech High School, he went on to play one season at Garden City Community College in 2017, appearing in 10 games with a pass breakup and a tackle.

He transferred to Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, the following season. He earned an all-conference honorable mention accolade after tallying 49 tackles (one for loss), nine pass breakups and an interception in 2018. He helped the Rangers go 10-2, win the conference title and the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Dallas Bowl and finish as the No. 4-ranked team in the nation.

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