Last season, Dominique Alexander got thrown into the deep end for the Oklahoma Sooners as a true freshman linebacker in relief of the injured Corey Nelson. Turns out, Alexander is a very strong swimmer. The young defensive standout started eight games in 2013, recording double-digit tackles in four of them, as he earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. This season, Alexander is poised to become a bona fide star for the Sooners.
Alexander finished second on the team last season with 80 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He admits that he relied on his football instincts heavily as a freshman, which turned out to be extremely solid, but improved markedly from week to week as he learned how to be a Big 12-caliber linebacker on the fly. With a full offseason of weights, conditioning, and meetings under his belt, Alexander hit the spring feeling like a “totally different player” ready to dominate the 2014 season.
With Alexander growing into a pillar of the defense this season, Oklahoma figures to have a stacked linebacker group that should make the Sooners one of the top defenses in the Big 12 this fall. Joining Alexander will be Frank Shannon, who led the team with 92 tackles as a sophomore in 2013, and Eric Striker, the team’s leading pass rusher last season with 6.5 sacks. Together, the trio makes up one of the most athletic group of linebackers in the conference who can make plays sideline to sideline and in the opponents’ backfield.
In what should be a wild, shoot-out heavy Big 12 title race in 2014, the team with the best defense could hold the inside track to the conference title. With a rising star like Dominique Alexander on their side, Oklahoma will be a very safe bet to be in the mix to the very end.
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