Q&A: Defensive end Frank Alexander

Sooners Illustrated caught up with defensive end Frank Alexander this week to talk with him about a few things, so come on in for the discussion right here.

--Alexander and opposite defensive end Jeremy Beal have a good relationship, both on and off the field, so that first came up in the conversation.

What do you think of defensive end Jeremy Beal? Jeremy, you know, when I first met Jeremy man, he didn't say much at all. He was a quiet person. You know, he had to open up, too, but I don't know. He's just a real calm guy. You know, we play a lot. I go to his house and we get on the game and stuff. He's a real cool person, you know, good to be around. You know, you ain't going to have no negativity coming out of Jeremy. He does everything right.

What video games do you play when you hang out? We be playing FIFA 2010, Halo 3 and sometimes we get on NCAA every now and then. He's real competitive, though. He gets mad. You know, I'll be beating him, but it's all good.

And what teams do you use? I'll be playing with Brazil, [and he's Argentina in soccer].

--Moving onto his game on the field, he had some comments about that.

What are your goals for the season? My goals for this season, you know, I just want to go out there and play to the best of my ability and then hopefully, you know, I can get Big 12, All-American honors and get on the All-American board and get a defensive end award and stuff. And, you know, I just want the best for me and the team. And one of our biggest goals is to get to the national championship this year, you know, so that's what I'm looking forward to.

What have you improved on most since spring ball? Basically just playing with low pad leverage, getting the hip flexibility right and playing with face in hands, you know, not just going up there just running to be blocked.

How specifically does that help you? It sets up a lot of moves, you know. The low man always wins, so that's what I wanted to work on, and then with me being 6-5, you know, I've got a long frame, so it was a tough job. You know, I just had to work on it, but the strength and conditioning coaches [helped]. You know, they worked with me a lot and they got me right.

What's the secret to getting lower? The secret is you just got to, it's basically, you know, like the hips, groin, you know, you got to get all that loosened up in here, and then I just did a duck walk.

Do you have a record for duck walks in a day? Yeah, my freshman year, like I had to do change of direction going duck walks. Like I had to go from the sideline to the middle of the field back to the sideline, across the 50, back over the 50, you know, and it helped out a lot. And then, you know, I do a lot of stretching on my own, too, just to make sure it's right. Yeah, trying to loosen them up, trying to get them hips loose.

How do you see the D-line being this year? I see the D-line, you know, as being one of the best D-lines in the country in my eyes. You know, I feel that we're the best, and if we put our minds to it, we can't be stopped. So, we just got to go out there and have that attitude every day to go out there and work hard and get better. You know, like we say every practice, our new saying is "Go out there and practice with a purpose every day," and so make everything better.

--And he also offered some insight on the secondary.

What are your thoughts on some of the young guys in the secondary? Both [Jamell Fleming and Demontre Hurst] are tremendous players in my eyes. You know, I feel that both of them could make some, you know, a good contribution to the team. So, you know, either one is up in the air right now who's going to start, but I believe either one of them will just come in the game and make a difference, so really if Jamell starts and then he gets tired, then Demontre can come in. If Demontre gets tired, then Jamell comes in.

--Alexander also spoke out about the nationally known Oklahoma drill.

What do you think about the Oklahoma drill? Man, the Oklahoma drill is a tough drill. You know, you've got to be tough to play in that drill, and you know if you go light, you're going to get mauled over, just point plain and simple. You've just got to hit him before he hits you.

Is that drill is always planned or what? I mean, we usually only get in the Oklahoma drill during two-a-days and I guess it comes at the beginning of practice, like you said, to wake us up, you know, get that blood pumping and just getting everybody on the same thing. You know, just like that, all right it's time to wake up.

Do you have a famous Oklahoma drill moment? My first year, my freshman year here, favorite Oklahoma drill, we were doing it different at the time. Like we were just going one, you know, one, one-on-one.

It was me and my home boy Donald. I had a guy in front of him and controlled him back, came up and made a play and everybody was cheering me on even when I first got here. So, I felt like I was the man here.

So, doing well in it gives you more of a sense that you belong? Yes sir. It gives you a lot of confidence, and you know you're ready to go.

Do you realize how widely used it is around the country with high schools and such? Oh yeah, we [know]. [In] Louisiana we used to do it, too. I think it was called the bull ringer, and what we would [do] is one person would go out there in the middle, and the whole team just circled around him, and then the coaches started calling out numbers, and you just got to find whatever number he calls, and you just got to hit him.

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