As we continue counting down to kickoff, today we chose to spotlight a former defensive great who starred for Bob Stoops through the mid-2000s. With 42 days left until the Oklahoma Sooners take the field against UTEP, here’s a look back at standout linebacker Rufus Alexander.
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team consensus All-American in 2006, Alexander became the first Sooner to lead the team in tackles for consecutive seasons (2005-06) since Rocky Calmus (1999-2001). He started 36 games in his OU career and didn’t miss a game during his last two seasons. In his landmark senior season, Alexander led the OU defense with 118 tackles including 12 for loss along with four forced fumbles and an interception.
The Louisiana native was the Sooners’ defensive leader in the first of three straight Big 12 championships and a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2006 before he was selected by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Alexander was known as one of the fiercest personalities on the field as well as one of the most colorful off it. You can still hear Ru on the radio giving his insight and humorous takes on the Sooners, typically brightening up every gameday with his unique and informed perspective on all things OU football.
One of the oft-overlooked talents in the Bob Stoops era, Alexander’s incredibly productive career earned him a place alongside some of the best linebackers to ever play at Oklahoma.