- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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During the summer months, we will take a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Every day, we'll analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
No. 1 Dominique Alexander, linebacker, 6-foot, 219 pounds, sophomore
Impact thus far: Alexander was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after a stellar freshman season. He started eight of 13 games in 2013, finishing with 80 tackles (50 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup.
Impact in 2014: Alexander should be an anchor on OU’s defense while taking a clear step forward as a sophomore. With a year of experience, his versatility and natural instincts will likely shine through in his second season.
Long-term upside: Don’t be surprised if Alexander is an All-Big 12 performer before he finishes his career.
Evaluation grade for Alexander: A. Although they were late to offer Alexander, OU did a terrific job with its overall evaluation of the Tulsa, Okla., native. He played multiple positions in high school and the Sooners recognized he could build on that versatility and still hold his own as a college linebacker in Mike Stoops’ system. They also recognized his maturity and focus despite his young age.
Development grade for Alexander: A. As soon as he stepped on campus Alexander started making waves as a guy who could contribute. The Sooners didn’t hesitate, playing him in their season opener and, more importantly, using him against Notre Dame alongside Corey Nelson before the senior was lost for the season. That’s a clear sign Alexander was in OU’s plans before he was thrown into the fire as a starter against Texas when Nelson went down.
Quotable: “Dominique Alexander is a great athlete. Coming in, I was watching this guy play and he just fits right into the defense. He just has instincts for the ball and that’s what allows him to make plays out there and that’s what allows him to keep up with the speed of the game.” -- Nelson