One-on-One With Alex Elkins

When he first suited up in Stillwater last season, he was just another physical athlete with everything to prove. Oklahoma State had plenty of those. But this fall, Alex Elkins is the senior leader of a deep linebacker corps for the Cowboys. Elkins recorded the second most tackles (90) for OSU last season, capping it off with 12 against Stanford in the Cowboys' Fiesta Bowl victory.

Elkins sat down with Go Pokes to discuss the upcoming season.

For the first time in a while, the pressure might be on the defense to carry the team. Do you like that pressure?: I do. I feel it's the clutch moments that really show who you are. I feel like without pressure, you're just out there doing your thing. With the pressure, it helps us want to dig deep, and that's what we need. We need to find out at the bottom of our hearts what we can do to be on this field.

Does this team feel underappreciated by the national media after such a successful season last year?: Of course, whenever you're coming back, we're trying to hold our title again. I feel underappreciated because we did big things last year. Who's to say we're not going to do it again because we lost a couple of players? Everybody is going to go through the growing pains of losing players. But it doesn't really matter to me. We're going to go out there and shock the world. That's the plan.

Do you like being the underdog?: I've always kind of been the underdog my whole life. I was a late bloomer. I feel like if there wasn't somebody telling me I couldn't do it, I might not be as hungry to want to do it. I kind of appreciate it. It's not something I'm worried about.

What do you hope to get out of this first game?: Other than a win, of course, the experience. We're definitely looking for experience and hopefully rub out some kinks that we have right now. Find out where we're lacking , not that we haven't been doing that in practice. It's going to be that gametime situation because it's in the moment where you find out what you're made of.

What are you looking forward to most for the home opener?: To run out and see my mom in the crowd. I really enjoy that.

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