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Dominique Alexander Q&A
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OU linebacker talks football and more
Since earning a full-time starting job midway through his freshman season in 2013, Dominique Alexander has impacted and influenced the Oklahoma defense probably as much as any single player.
During that span — covering 23 games — the 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker has recorded a team-best 235 tackles, including 121 unassisted stops.
Alexander was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after his first season and then earned second-team Big 12 honors last fall when he led the Sooners with 107 tackles. While his ball-hawking skills have him on pace for even more impressive numbers in 2015 — he had 50 tackles through the first six games — Alexander is more focused on helping the OU defense improve as a whole.
Personal goals and statistics take a backseat to what’s best for the Sooners.
“Dom is definitely one of our veteran leaders on defense. He helps set the tone for us,” said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “I don’t think he’s a player driven by stats or anything like that — he’s all about helping us win football games. Whatever it takes.”
Sooner Spectator sat down with Alexander after a recent practice and talked to him about football and life on and off the field.
Sooner Spectator: What was this team’s mindset coming off the loss to Texas and heading into the heart of the schedule?
Dominique Alexander: Of course, we were disappointed with how we played against Texas. But we know we can’t take that with us moving forward. We have a lot of football to play and we feel all of our goals are still in front of us. So our focus is on getting better each and every week and not taking any of our opponents for granted. We have to stay in the moment and play each game like it’s the most important game we play all season. If we do that, we believe we can beat anybody we play.
SS: Looking ahead, how do you avoid having another letdown?
Alexander: Everybody on this team has to do their jobs and hold each other accountable every single day, whether it’s practice or a game. That means everyone on the same page with the same focus — no exceptions. We keep improving in practice and working to be the best team we can be. Everyone gets your best effort, no matter who we are playing.
SS: Is it disappointing to hear the fans ranting and raving after the Texas loss, or do you even allow yourself to listen to that?
Alexander: I kinda just keep all of that stuff at a distance. I don’t listen to it too much. The true fans are going to be disappointed but they aren’t going to trash talk about the team or the program. It’s unfortunate that it happens but it is what it is. We have an us against the world mentality so as long as all of the players and coaches in our locker room are on the same page, then we’ll be fine.
SS: Your dad (Derrick Alexander) played football at Oklahoma State. How close did you come to going there and playing for the Cowboys?
Alexander: To be honest, it was a pretty easy decision to go to OU. After high school, I was looking to do my own thing and that meant not really following in his footsteps. So when people ask me about my decision between OU and OSU, the Sooners were my choice all along.
SS: Did you take any grief from you family and friends for not picking OSU?
Alexander: Oh, yes. I had some family members, some cousins and others who really wanted me to go to OSU. They let me know about it. A lot of my friends wanted me to go to OSU so I could play in orange and black like I did in high school at Booker T. (Washington in Tulsa). But again, it came down to me doing my own thing, and I feel l made the right decision.
SS: Do you set any personal goals going into a new season?
Alexander: I have a few things in mind when the season starts, but they are just personal things. I don’t make a big deal out of them or share them with anyone.
SS: Do you have a favorite moment as a Sooner to this point?
Alexander: Wow, there have been a lot of good ones. But probably to this point, my favorite is winning the Tennessee game. I loved the way we stood together and battled together and never gave up in that environment. To go in there and find a way to get out victorious — that was special.
SS: What has been your biggest challenge as a student-athlete here at OU?
Alexander: Basically, just keeping everything in balance. Time management is so important because football is very time consuming and then your class schedule is also very demanding. When you aren’t studying for class or for a test, you are studying an opposing team’s offense and trying to figure out what they are going to do on Saturday. But that’s all just part of being a student-athlete — it’s almost like you have two full-time jobs sometimes. You just have to stay on top of it all or it will overwhelm you.
SS: What do you do in your spare time to relax and give your mind some rest?
Alexander: I mainly just listen to music. I’ll kick back and chill at the house, listening to some of my favorite music by Erykah Badu. That always works for me, keeps me relaxed and happy.
SS: You are majoring in criminology. How did you end up picking that as a potential part of your future?
Alexander: My dad is in law enforcement and I’ve seen him working in that field my whole life growing up. So that’s something I’ve always had an interest in and I feel it could be something I get into after college and football. There are a lot of different directions I can possibly go with this major and I like that it has challenged me in a lot of ways.
(Editor's Note: This story appears in the 2015 Fall Issue of Sooner Spectator. To read more or subscribe, call 405-364-4515)