Arturo Alejandrez Jr. of Fresno, Calif., may not be tall or large, but that doesn’t measure the size of his heart or his love of the game. The 5’, 94-lb. defensive back and wide receiver has been playing for six years already, and the achievements he’s earned are off the charts. Since 2013, the 2025 athlete has racked up an All-Star nod; an Offensive Player of the year accolade; attended an FBU Bay Area event and an FBU Top Gun in South Carolina; a Defensive Player of the Year award; declared Offensive MVP at Kamp Kendricks Football Camp; attended USA Football Regional Bay Area; and played in the USA Football Middle School Bowl Game in Frisco, Texas.
Alejandrez has the drive, desire and fierce competitiveness to help his team, no matter what obstacles are in his way.
“Some challenges I have overcome are ignoring the doubters, not letting my height stop me from playing the game and also ignoring the fact of me being deaf in my left ear,” he said.
As a starting free safety for the Tenaya Braves in Fresno, he made a big contribution to the defense by tallying 16 tackles, one pass deflection, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in eight games. With Alejandrez’s contribution, the Braves went undefeated and made it to the championship game, but came up short. However, the Braves made it to the championship game thanks to a gutsy goal-line stand by the defense, with an assist from Alejandrez.
“I helped push the pile back [during a rushing attempt],” he said.
The Braves are hungry for another shot at the championship, and the team will include a driven Alejandrez next season.
“We want to be able to go back to the championship game and win it,” he declared, noting that he’ll do whatever it takes to help the Braves.
“I am a team-first player,” he said. “I will play any part my team needs me to play. I will do any workout and attend any camp that will improve my game.”
The workouts include drills at his nearby park with a ladder and cones, running three miles a week and training at the Central Valley Speed Factory in Fresno.
When Alejandrez was asked who inspires him the most, he replied, “One of the running backs from my hometown, [Fresno State senior running back] Dejonte O' Neal.” The two formed a friendship at a football camp in Fresno. “He has always supported me with training and being better,” Alejandrez said. “He has given me confidence a lot of times before big games and big events. He's always there for me. “Before every big game he’d call. He’d say, ‘Stay focused; stay in school.’”
Football isn’t the only focus of Alejandrez’s life—he’s also a musician who can play clarinet in his school’s orchestra as well as trumpet.
“I am interested in is music, art and sports,” he stated in his Youth1 profile, which includes a scouting report on him.
The well-rounded student also has a sturdy 3.2 GPA at Tenaya Middle School, and he aims to keep it at that level or higher all the way through high school. “[I hope to] Get at least one D1 offer and qualify for the senior all-star game,” he said.
With a player like Alejandrez on the Tenaya Braves, expect them to compete again for the state championship next season.
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