Award Honors Exemplary Leadership By A College Player
DALLAS (Feb. 23, 2023) – Pittsburgh’s Deslin Alexandre has been selected as the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten presented Alexandre with the award at a ceremony tonight in Frisco, Texas.
The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, presented by Albertson’s/Tom Thumb, is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best demonstrates an outstanding record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship.
“I am honored to present the sixth annual Collegiate Man of the Year to Deslin Alexandre,” said Witten. “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.”
A two-time captain and three-year starter for the Panthers’ nationally ranked defense, Alexandre is a perennial Honor Roll student pursuing an MBA in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. In the community, Alexandre set 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. Using his NIL opportunities for the greater good, he recently launched the “5th Down Campaign” to build awareness and mobilize resources for the impoverished children of Haiti, where he was born.
Alexandre was chosen as the recipient of the award among three finalists, which also included Penn State’s Sean Clifford and Oregon’s Alex Forsyth.
“Deslin is a very deserving winner of this award,” said Witten. “It’s very difficult for the selection committee to choose a winner from these three finalists. Sean and Alex are both outstanding leaders and have taken active roles on campus and in the community. All three of these men have extremely bright futures, both on and off the field.”
The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, is the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership, both on and off the field. The inaugural award was presented to UCF’s Shaquem Griffin in 2017. The second annual award was presented to Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon in 2018. Tennessee’s Trey Smith took home the honor in 2019 and Sam Ehlinger of Texas won the award in 2020. Josh Paschal of Kentucky received the honor last year.
A $10,000 contribution will be made in Alexadre’s name to Pittsburgh’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle. The SCORE Foundation, founded in 2007, has positively impacted tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last 14 years. The foundation operates its nationally-recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters, at nine shelters in the two states.