NORMAN — A couple of weeks ago, Frank Alexander was forced to stand in front of representatives from every NFL team and tell them he had a heart condition and would not be able to take part in the Combine.
It was a pride-swallowing and difficult moment for the former Oklahoma standout who had gone to Indianapolis in hopes of impressing those same scouts and officials. Alexander’s future, which seemed so bright after he was named the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year, was launched in the air by a surprise diagnosis.
He said he “begged” to participate, but the doctors there would not allow it.
“I had worked so hard to get to that point,” Alexander said. “I had been training for six or seven weeks, plus the 15 years of playing football. It was scary to know it could shut down because of one little judgment.”
But that decision was ultimately overruled. After Alexander’s Combine experience ended unfortunately, he underwent a series of tests that showed he actually did not have a hole in his heart, as it was initially believed.
“I didn’t have a hole at all,” he said.
Alexander was still drowsy from medication and testing, but he still recalled smiling wide when the doctors told him that he was OK.
"It was like my first Christmas or something,” Alexander said.
The 6-foot-4, 271-pound native of Baton Rouge, La., had been given another chance to continue his football career. And it made Wednesday’s Pro Day inside OU’s Everest Training Center all the more important.
He ran the 40-yard dash in a respectable 4.76 seconds. He had a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump and a 34 ½-inch vertical.
Regardless of the specific numbers, it allowed the teams to see Alexander was healthy.
Normally there’s a certain stress level that goes along with the auditions for scouts, but Alexander said he has a different perspective on things, having been through his recent ordeal.
"I really was just grateful and thankful that I was able to get back out here,” he said. “I just wanted to do what I’ve been doing, and that’s playing football and competing. It wasn’t any big pressure or anything.” Alexander figures to be a mid-round pick. He said he has not been given any sort of range and does not know what to expect in next month’s draft.