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OU defensive end Frank Alexander ‘very motivated' to have breakout year

The 2010 football season was very frustrating for Frank Alexander. After he lost his starting position because of an injury in fall camp, he got a little down. But healthy this season, Alexander is looking to have a big year.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: August 23, 2011

Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander was frustrated last season.

An ankle injury he suffered during two-a-days hampered his ability to rush the quarterback and chase down running backs off the edge.

When he lost his starting job, Alexander was confused.

“Last year was an awakening for me,” Alexander said. “Just as fast as you get it, it can be taken away from you just like that. You start wondering why you're not playing. At times I didn't really buy into the system. This year I'm more focused, ready to get after it.”

A preseason All-Big 12 selection, Oklahoma's senior defensive end finished last season strong. The Baton Rouge, La., product played well in the spring. He's coming off the best two-a-days of his career.

Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright has seen it before. When that final season arrives players want to leave a legacy.

"He's very motivated to have a breakout year, be somebody people remember as having been a really good football player at the University of Oklahoma," Wright said. "I think that means something to him. It's like all of a sudden the light came on."

Alexander has made 18 career starts, including nine games last season. But he never was completely healthy a year ago. He suffered a high ankle sprain during two-a-days, missed the season opener and spent much of the season trying to get healthy.

Wright said the ankle injury hampered Alexander. But the past six months Wright also has noticed Alexander has been more committed to the weight room, film room and the practice field.

"Frank has the ability to be a really good football player," Wright said. "But as we all know potential means you have not done it, yet. He's had spurts he's played extremely well.

"But to play well on a consistent basis, ala Jeremy Beal, and do it day in day out, week in week out, game in game out, he lacks that. That's what he's finally come to realize, where he's got to get to before he's regarded as a really good football player."

Beal finished his career second all-time at OU in sacks. Alexander has 12 career sacks. He had seven last year playing on a bum ankle.

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