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WMU Football Commit Alex Grace Brings Aggressive Running Style to Western's Offense

by Matt Buck

Swan Valley High School running back Alex Grace is familiar with breaking records.

The two-star recruit set school records last season when he rushed for 2,952 yards and 39 touchdowns in his junior year.

After receiving interest from a combination of Big Ten and Mid-American Conference schools including Michigan State, Nebraska, Akron and Indiana, Grace committed to Western Michigan on June 17. He'll be studying nursing during his time at WMU.

"What really stood out to me at Western was the coaching staff," Grace said. "They are all great guys and young. Coach Fleck is a great motivator."

P.J. Fleck's motivational antics made Grace want to be a Bronco as soon as possible.

"Every time I've been down to visit I've wanted to strap the pads on when he was giving a speech on football," he said. "I also really like the city of Kalamazoo."

Since Grace was recruited as an athlete, he'll have the opportunity to play at a variety of positions.

"I was recruited as an athlete," Grace said. "I would like to try running back but I would also like to play defense."

Grace said no matter what position he ends up playing he'll have to work hard to get on the field.

"Either way I'm going to have to work hard day in and day out to try and get a starting position," he said. "I'm ready for that."

Grace considers his downhill running ability to be one of the stronger parts of his game.

"I'm an aggressive runner. I'm looking to run through you, not around you," he said. "I enjoy all the flashy jukes and will do them when needed, but my first thought is going straight ahead and run through defenders."

For Grace, part of the appeal of playing at WMU is Fleck's work ethic.

"Coach Fleck is working 24 hours a day and takes no breaks. He pushes all of his players to their maximum potential," he said. "Their whole coaching staff is that way. It was a big factor in deciding my commitment."

Grace's list of goals is starts and ends with consistent improvement.

"My goal is to first work my butt off before I get there to be in the best shape and position to work for a starting spot," he said. "After that I just want to be the best player I can be and help my team out the best I can."

Grace said there are a number of areas in which he'd like to improve.

"There's always room for improvement I'm every aspect of your game. I'm going to continue working at everything," he said. "Catching, footwork, running routes, reading defenses, reading offenses... working at everything so I can be the best I can be during season."

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