After not seeing the field his freshman year, sophomore wide receiver Alex Haight has strung together some nice performances for the Quakers so far this season, racking up 16 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown. The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Haight to ask him 15 questions about his football career, his time at Penn, and his life off the field.
1. Can you introduce yourself, and what's your major?
My name is Alex Haight, and I’m a sophomore studying PPE.
2. How long have you been playing football?
I’ve been playing football since I was a young child, but I dropped football for a little bit; played other sports — basketball was a big thing for me. But then I picked it [football] back up junior year of high school, and I played junior year, senior year, and I did a postgraduate at Deerfield [Academy in Massachusetts], and then the two years here.
3. Why Penn?
I just thought Penn was the perfect place to come to because, you know, unreal academics, great football; I think it was a perfect blend. I really liked the location being in Philly, and after meeting with the coaches and some of the teammates, I just felt like it was a great fit for me.
4. What has stood out to you so far about the Penn football program?
I would say, first and foremost, the culture here is pretty historic. The winning culture is cool to be a part of. The teammates are excellent. We have older guys doing everything they can to help the younger teammates and the coaches do a great job explaining what Penn football really means and what it means to be on this team. So I think that’s really special. There’s nothing generic about it. [It's] very, very cool to be a part of.
5. What would you say are the biggest differences between high school and college, on the field and off?
The biggest difference is time commitment, and I think that’s something really beneficial [that] I’ve really enjoyed; that you get to spend a lot more time with your brothers and you learn a lot more about football [and] the technicalities of the game. You are able to read defenses a lot better as an offensive player. The speed of the game is just a lot faster. That’s something that takes a little while to get used to. But that was probably the biggest difference for me. The coaching staff does a great job of getting the younger guys mixed in and getting used to that, so it’s not too much of a shock when you’re in there.
6. Do you have any game day superstitions?
I’m a pretty superstitious guy. The gloves I wear are usually the gloves I’ve been wearing all week to practice. I tie my shoes a certain way before every game, as silly as that may sound. I have certain music that I listen to. I’m sure there’s more. Bedtime’s around relatively the same time every time, so [that's] worked for me. I don’t know how much it really plays into anything, but I feel good if I have everything on that list checked off.
7. Congratulations on your first collegiate touchdown against Bucknell! How did that feel?
Pretty unreal, I have to be honest. It was cool. Just the week before, getting my first college catch ever, and then turning around next week and having the first touchdown; it’s not something you ever expect to happen. But it was very, very cool.
8. Penn plays two big home games back to back weeks this season — against Brown for family weekend, and then Cornell for homecoming. Which game are you more excited for?
Cornell, and the reason being is that at one point, I was actually committed to Cornell for football my senior year. So I think it would be cool to see everyone again, and get that one at home. I think it would be huge.
9. What do you like to do in your downtime?
Right now, when I’m not playing football, it’s a lot of recovery. When I’m home, it’s usually family time: just chilling with my family, getting work done around the house. I have two brothers, so I’m always hanging out with them, doing workouts. I spend a lot of time outdoors; I love fishing with my friends at home. When I’m here [at Penn] it’s usually being with my friends, my roommates, and recovering and talking about football.
10. What’s your go-to spot on campus for a quick meal?
I usually go to Houston Hall, because you can [spend] your meal swipes there, but I really like some of the food trucks. I just had Tyson Bees a few minutes ago, actually. It’s a big athletes spot. But Houston’s always reliable. You can get it between classes quickly. Penn food is, you know, they do a pretty good job. They hook it up.
11. What’s been your favorite class at Penn so far?
I had a freshman seminar last year [that] was called, “Markets and Morality.” The name kind of plays into it. It was about different markets and what you can sell and [whether] they [are] just. It was a philosophy class. But the thing that was cool about it was that it was all freshmen; it helped me ease into classes at Penn.
12. Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know how hidden it is, but I cut a lot of my friends' hair, which is something that I picked up during COVID-19 due to the lack of barbershop accessibility. That’s been useful. I did it a lot at Deerfield and it’s kind of fun. It doesn’t really require much thought.
13. What is your favorite sports memory, either as a player or as a fan?
The Choate game my senior year at Deerfield. There’s a little bit of a story behind it. I had missed half the season with an injury — a high ankle sprain. I think I missed five games, and I came back [with a] rocky start the first two, not much production. And then, the Choate game: Our quarterback Liam O’Brien, who’s here with me at Penn, we ended up connecting for four touchdowns that game. That was really rewarding, and it was the result of a lot of hardship that year for me, but it was a sweet ending for it. It was definitely cool.
14. What athlete do you try to model your game after?
There are a few receivers who I think are really good route runners. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of CeeDee Lamb: he’s really dominant. He just goes up and gets the ball. He’s fast. And Davante Adams, [he's an] awesome route runner. I [also] like Stefon Diggs, another great route runner. I really have a lot of respect for those guys. They really have it down.
15. Last question. What do you see yourself doing in life after Penn?
I’ve been kind of happy to search for different career paths. I don’t have my mind set on anything. But something that I’m looking for is a job that’s really rewarding and challenging, something [where] it's not a given that you’re just going to go in there and do awesome. I want to really work for what I have to do, and I don’t want it to be easy. Probably something in finance; I know a lot of people at Penn want to do that kind of thing. But I think it’s enticing, and there’s a lot of Penn football people that do it later on. That would probably be my reaction towards a career.