Alexander is Aggies' unsung hero

He's got the body of a fullback and the mentality of an offensive lineman, which is why A&M head coach Dennis Franchione and Aggie QB Stephen McGee love him. Well, that, and his ability to make the key lead block for the A&M rushing attack.

The only numbers that are displayed next to Chris Alexander's name in the 2007 Texas A&M Media Supplement is 14 carries for 76 yards and 11 catches for 78 yards in 2006. He did have four touchdowns, but none of those numbers will earn him many headlines in the major daily newspapers. They also won't land him on many preseason award watch lists.

But Dennis Franchione did everything but print campaign bumper stickers at the Big 12 Media Days earlier this week in San Antonio.

"It seems like so often that the preseason is when we have so much thought about who is going to be the post-season award winners," Franchione said. "I don't know if there are any spots out there for him, but Chris Alexander is really the unsung hero on our football team. The key blocks that he threw last year springed (us) for touchdowns. Both of the touchdowns in the last game against Texas were blocked by Chris Alexander."

But none of those late season blocks ever got mentioned on ESPN's SportsCenter.

They showed Mike Goodson racing around the corner (created by Alexander) and giving the "A" symbol with his hands to the Aggies gathered in the corner of Texas' Memorial Stadium.

But without the key block from Alexander, Goodson would have gained just five yards before the Longhorn safety brought him down. But it wasn't just the block that was impressive. It was the fact that Alexander made the right block.

He could have chosen to block the defensive end that had slipped past Martellus Bennett. But Alexander knew the big lineman couldn't catch Goodson and led the way through traffic until finding his target and busting the play wide open for Goodson.

They also showed Stephen McGee leaping over a defender into the endzone and raising his arms to the sky. That defender would have stopped McGee around the seven yardline—short of the first down marker—had Alexander not been there. Instead the Texas linebacker was on his back as McGee hurdled him for the game-winning touchdown.

"Everyone wants to focus on other individuals making the big plays (in the Texas game), but both times it was Chris making the play," said A&M quarterback Stephen McGee. "Chris is a special guy for us. He takes on a role that doesn't get much recognition, kind of like offensive line, but he does it full speed and he does a great job at it. He was voted on the leadership council by all the guys, so it's obvious that we all respect him and what he can do. He definitely doesn't get the credit that he deserves."

Franchione said he believes the Alexander gets overlooked because of the Aggies spread offense, but there's no mistaking how vital he is to the success of the Aggie rushing attack, which was the No. 8 rushing unit in the nation last year, averaging 206.9 yards per game.

"When you have Jorvorskie (Lane) and Mike Goodson making the runs that they make someone is leading the way," Franchione said. "If we're in a two-back set it's Chris Alexander and the (offensive) line. He's a great premiere fullback in the nation,"

Because of his ability to make those lead blocks, Alexander will have a shot at playing on Sundays next year, but for now, he's got other goals in mind.

"I asked him his goal during spring practice and he said, ‘Coach, I want to have 10 blocks a game that make a difference in the outcome of the game.' Now how many running backs say that? Not many."

He might not have made many preseason watch lists, but with an attitude like that, he'll get plenty of recognition at the NFL draft in April.




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