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NFL Draft: Frank Alexander waiting for the chance to show he can play professionally

The OU defensive end has recovered from injuries and hopes stellar senior season is enough for a draft day telephone call.
by Michael Baldwin Published: April 27, 2012
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Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander will have every reason to party sometime Saturday after he's selected in the NFL Draft.

But it was a party four years ago, hours after making his OU debut that nearly derailed his dream.

Fortunate that he didn't suffer a career-threatening injury hours after the Sooners routed Tennessee-Chattanooga on Aug. 30, 2008, Alexander was stabbed in his right arm.

“Another inch and I wouldn't have been able to play football anymore,” Alexander said four years ago.

Details are sketchy what happened. According to police reports, several non-OU students tried to crash a party. When entry was denied, they attacked with knifes and tire irons and threw bricks.

Alexander was dancing with a girl when an intruder smashed him over the head with a bottle. Alexander didn't notice he had been stabbed. As he was leaving the party after the melee, a teammate told him his arm was bleeding profusely. His muscle was “hanging out, flapping.”

That's why Alexander, who didn't hear his named called during rounds 2 and 3 Friday night, has a different perspective than many players.

“I had a rough first year, but I've hung in there despite a lot of things happening,” Alexander said. “You'd like to go in the second or third round, but I'll get an opportunity no matter what round it is. That's all you want, is an opportunity.”

Alexander closed a roller coaster OU career with a monster senior season. He was named The Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (19).

But there were times some wondered if the Baton Rouge, La., product would ever reach his potential.

“I know my career at times has been on the shaky side,” Alexander said. “My freshman year, I had that altercation off the field. Then I played behind two great players. But I always had confidence I could play at a high level if given a chance and was healthy.”

Alexander, 6-foot-4, 271 pounds, was named freshman All-American despite missing five games due to the stabbing injury. He had a bright future. But his two middle seasons produced mixed results.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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