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OU football: Linebacker Dominique Alexander will likely step in with Corey Nelson done for season

Freshman Dominique Alexander is Nelson's likely replacement for Red River game vs. Texas.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 6, 2013

/articleid/3890670/1/pictures/2232623">Photo - Oklahoma's Dominique Alexander (42) tries to bring down Tulsa's Zack Langer (24) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Oklahoma won 51-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Dominique Alexander (42) tries to bring down Tulsa's Zack Langer (24) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Oklahoma won 51-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Nelson also returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown in that win at Notre Dame.

The Skyline (Dallas) High product was considered one of the nation's top linebacker recruits in the class of 2010. He was committed to Texas A&M until signing day, when he flipped to the Sooners.

In the spring of 2011, Stoops said Nelson looked like “the best player out there on defense ... In fact, it's not even close.”

Nelson, like all OU linebackers, struggled late last season, when defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' schemes essentially took them off the field for long stretches of games against high-octane, spread offenses.

He admitted last spring that he considered leaving OU, but was convinced to stay by coaches who insisted he would be a major part of the 2013 defense.

Through five games, that promise held true. Sophomore Frank Shannon and Nelson are the two leading tacklers on the team, and OU has kept at least two linebackers on the field virtually at all times.

During fall camp, Nelson heaped praise on the young OU linebackers, especially Alexander and sophomore Eric Striker, who has started four games this year.

“Eventually, they're going to be the face of the OU linebacker corps and the OU defense in general these upcoming years,” Nelson said. “Those guys have really stepped to the plate and have really been making plays.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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