Oklahoma football: Freshman linebackers make big impression

Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans have impressed OU's coaches early on in practice.
by Ryan Aber Modified: August 7, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: August 6, 2013

While Evans played linebacker as a senior at Norman North, he was a converted defensive back and was still quick enough to be a dangerous return threat.

Alexander was equally as versatile, spending time in the secondary as well as at defensive end at Tulsa Washington.

“They move just like linebackers should,” Mike Stoops said. “They're big. They're athletic. They're fast; they're seeing things the right way.

“The more repetitions they get, their ability to find the ball will become greater and greater. They're young linebackers. They're not robotic. They float to the football the way you're supposed to.”

They're also opening the eyes of their teammates.

Defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue talked about both, but gushed about what he's seen from Alexander so far.

“Dom is ready to get out there and play football,” Ndulue said. “He doesn't look like a freshman that's timid. He's just ready to get out there and play.”

With Nelson and Frank Shannon returning, neither freshman is expected to start, but they both could see playing time.

While Sooners coaches aren't putting too much pressure on the freshmen to solve the problems of the defense, Bob Stoops said he's been impressed after just a handful of practices.

“I say it a lot, but linebackers and safeties, you shouldn't have to tell them a whole bunch,” he said. “The really great ones, they just feel their way. They feel their way and they show up at the ball. Just in a few days, those guys are showing that. They have a really good knack for feeling the ball and where they need to be.”

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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