--By Alma Burke, Mizzou Media Relations
Danario Alexander is no stranger to Missouri Football. The former Tiger wide receiver left an incredible mark on the team, setting records and leading Mizzou to Championship games, including the Cotton Bowl in 2007 and Alamo Bowl in 2008. After graduating last year, Alexander fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing in professional football, when he signed with the St. Louis Rams in August. In a recent interview with Alexander, he expresses how playing for the Missouri Tigers help prepare him for his newfound success as an NFL player.
The Rams rookie made his NFL debut Oct 17, when his team defeated the San Diego Chargers. His 38-yard touchdown catch in that game not only made him a force to be reckoned with, but proved that his struggle to the NFL was not in vein.
Before signing to the St. Louis Rams in August of 2010, he struggled with a knee injury that hurt his stock in the NFL Draft.
"After I graduated, I went to the bowl and got hurt and I had to have surgery, so I missed the draft," Alexander said. "I became kind of discouraged after the draft, not hearing my name called, but I knew I had to get healthy if I wanted to play."
He credits his time on the Rams' practice squad for helping him regain his strength and health, preparing him for a position on the St. Louis Rams active roster.
In preparation for the NFL, Alexander credits the Missouri football program and his former coach, Gary Pinkel, for preparing him with the training and skills needed to be ready for a professional football career.
"Coach Pinkel and his program gave us the opportunity to play in the NFL and I think that's pretty big," Alexander said. "From the first day I stepped foot on campus, I had a goal of playing in the NFL, and playing at Mizzou helped me reach that goal."
Though he is still playing the game he loves, Alexander expressed how he does miss college football and how it differs from the NFL.
"I miss being around my former teammates," he said. "They were my best friends and we had a lot of memories together. In college, I was around the same people all day, just hanging out. Now it's my job, I go to work and go home. I miss that part of college football the most."
Though Alexander has adjusted to playing on a team with former rivals such as the Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma last year, he says that Mizzou will always have a place in his heart.
"Sam and I have a pretty good chemistry and we work well together, so it's pretty good."
As Danario Alexander begins his football career with the St. Louis Rams, his hard work and success as a Missouri Tiger will never be forgotten. With his dedication, tenacity and love of the game, it is clear that Alexander is still a force to be reckoned with and he will continue show is alma mater Mizzou proud.