NORMAN—Frank Alexander is ready. Senior offensive lineman Trent Williams sees it. So does the man he lines up alongside, Gerald McCoy. Linebacker Travis Lewis can’t help but see it, lined up behind two of the best defensive linemen in the Big 12.
Alexander, though, isn’t so sure about all the compliments coming his way. Of course, no one’s going to complain about a little modesty. "I knew Frank was good,” McCoy said. "Frank just needed a shot, and they gave Frank that shot and he did his thing.” If Alexander’s thing is recording 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his final three starts of 2008, three of his team’s biggest games, the Sooners should expect even bigger things from his second season on the field. Alexander’s output as a freshman surpassed McCoy’s first season, when McCoy earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. More impressive is Alexander doing it in only nine games, after he was stabbed in his right arm during a nightclub incident that cost him five games. "Last year, he left a lot of sacks on the field,” Williams said, pointing out the number of times he slipped past the offensive line far outnumbered his sack total. Check back in October to see if those sacks find their way into Alexander’s stat line this season. "I’ve grown a little bit,” Alexander said. "I feel like now is the time. I know I’ve got a lot to work on.” Complicating Alexander’s rise is one glaring detail: he isn’t the starter.