NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander and defensive back Zack Sanchez were each named to the 13th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, the FWAA announced Monday.
Oklahoma is just one of five programs to have multiple players selected for the squad, while UCLA was the only other team to feature two defensive players.
The 2013 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Alexander finished the season ranked 18th in the conference with 6.2 tackles per game, while no other freshman was in the top 50. His 80 tackles placed second on the Sooners, and he added 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, a pass breakup and two forced fumbles.
Alexander recorded a career-high 19 tackles against Texas (10/12), the most by a Sooner since Travis Lewis had 19 versus Texas (10/11/08). In addition, the 19 stops were the most by any Big 12 player during the 2013 season and tied for the ninth most in the FBS this season.
Sanchez finished the season with 15 passes defended in 13 games, an average of 1.15 per game, which ranked fourth in the Big 12. He also intercepted two passes on the year for 117 yards. He had a 74-yard INT return for a touchdown at Kansas State (11/23) and a 43-yarder in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama (1/2).
The 117 interception return yards were the most by an OU player since Derrick Strait’s 127 yards in 2003. Sanchez also had 46 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in his stat line.
Alexander and Sanchez become the ninth and 10th Sooners to be placed on the Freshman All-America Team, which was established in 2001. The last OU player to be placed on the squad was Michael Hunnicutt in 2011.
The only other time that Oklahoma had two players named Freshman All-Americans in the same season occurred in 2001 when center Vince Carter and defensive lineman Tommie Harris were each honored.