This certainly came as a surprise to Wyoming fans as the school announced that junior running back Alvester Alexander will forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft. The deadline for athletes to declare early for the draft is January 15th. Alexander has not hired an agent yet.
"Alvester (Alexander) has decided that he wants to make himself eligible for the NFL Draft at this time," said Christensen. "He feels that this decision is best for he and his family. It is his decision to make, and we can only wish him the best of luck as he pursues this next step in his career. We thank Alvester for his contributions over the past three seasons, including helping us to earn two bowl appearances."
Not sure what the motivation for the decision but it was something he decided he was ready for. Personally I would have loved to see him come back in 2012 and help the Pokes aim for a conference championship. He has had already made a big mark on the Wyoming record books in his first three years.
Here are some quotes from Alexander that Rober Gagliardi posted on twitter.
Alexander: "This is the best thing for my family right now with what's going on at home and around me. ...I made this decision on my own."
"I never had a bad experience at Wyoming. ... I loved the place, I loved the fans and I loved all I had out there."
Alexander said he was told: "With my athleticism and talent I have I have the potential to work myself up to being drafted."
If he is trying to help his family out by signing a professional contract then I wish him all the best. I'm not going to fault someone for trying to take of their family. He obviously is aware it will take lots of work to be drafted. Chris Prosinksi trained very hard in the offseason last year and ended up surprising everyone by being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round. Alexander is only the second Wyoming player to declare early for the draft, CB Derrick Martin was the first.
This last season Alexander finished with 695 rushing yards which was second on the team. Alexander concluded his Wyoming career ranked No. 9 on the UW career rushing list, with 2,127 yards. He also ranks No. 3 in school history in career rushing touchdowns, with 27. He rushed for 640 yards as a freshman in 2009 and 792 yards as a sophomore in 2010.
The depth at running back certainly takes a hit with the loss of Alexander. Ghaali Muhammad will be a senior in 2012 but he is coming back from an injury the second straight year and may go back to defense. Kody Sutton will be a sophomore but he ran for 146 yards. Brandon Miller played back running and receiver last year so he could play either in 2012. Nehemie Kankalongo will be a redshirt sophomore after sitting out 2011 with a knee injury.
This certainly helps explain why Wyoming has offered so many high school running backs lately. They obviously need to help add more depth with the loss of Alexander and injuries to the returning backs.