TULSA — A lot of coaches will tell you they have a defensive player who is good enough to play anywhere on the field, but few of them actually pull it off.
Tulsa Washington star Dominique Alexander played “basically every position except nose guard,” coach Marvin Dantzler said of the Oklahoma Sooner commit.
Alexander started all last season at safety, then the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder moved to defensive end at the start of this year.
But as the team's needs changed, so did his position. He returned to the secondary at times, and he'd still play defensive end when the Hornets went to a five-man front.
Ultimately, he settled in at linebacker, where the defense was able to utilize all of his skills, whether it be rushing the passer, stopping the run or covering receivers.
He finished with 121 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception to earn a linebacker spot on The Oklahoman's 100th All-State team.
“Dominique is one of those rare athletes you find who has the size and strength to play in the front seven, and the speed to play on the back end,” Dantzler said. “He has the range to play wherever we needed him to play.”
That versatility is one of the factors that made Alexander so attractive to major programs. He initially committed to Arkansas as a safety, but stepped back to look at his options as the program's stability came into question with coaching issues.
He committed to OU, where he could likely end up in the hybrid linebacker/safety role that has become so valuable, because of the need for a defender who can play in the box or cover receivers in space.
Alexander is the second member of his family to make the All-State team in the last three seasons. His brother, Derrick, now a defensive lineman at Tulsa, was an Oklahoman All-State selection in 2010.
Once Dominique signs with the Sooners, the family will have all three of the state's major football programs covered. Dominique's father, Derrick Alexander Sr. played at Oklahoma State.
The idea of joining Derrick Jr. as an All-State selection was one of the motivating factors that pushed Dominique to reach his potential throughout the season.
“It's a great feeling,” Dominique said of the honor. “It was one of my goals coming into the year, and it feels great reaching your goals.”