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Others were not so blasé. "It was unbelievable for someone local to get that kind of recognition," recalls Alexander's cousin Ben Brown, a former high school teammate. "We knew he was putting up big numbers, but we didn't think anyone would take notice nationally. It was so cool to see your high school's name in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED."
Alexander made it to the NFL, and in 2005 he led the league in rushing (1,880 yards), set the single-season record for touchdowns (28), won the NFL's MVP award and took his team to Super Bowl XL.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Jan. 10, 1994
APPEARED: SEPT. 2, 1957
WHAT WE SAID THEN: Jack, a husky homebred 17-year-old, made up a two-stroke deficit soon after the start of the final round and hung on to win the international Jaycee junior golf tournament.
WHAT HE SAYS NOW: "Being featured in the magazine is among the memories you look back on and cherish more now," says the winner of 18 majors. "That issue is now in the [Jack Nicklaus] Museum in Ohio."
APPEARED: SEPT. 3, 1956