Van Alexander
Van Alexander


Columbia, Mo.

High School:
Rock Bridge





Missouri v. Illinois State

Missouri v. Illinois State, September 22, 2007

  • Spring 2006 Team Most Improved Linebacker


Program veteran who is coming off his best season as a Tiger, and who should continue to help make Mizzou's defense one of the best in the Big 12 Conference ... Was having a great spring camp before suffering a knee injury that needed surgery just prior to the end of camp ... Is expected to be cleared to play when fall camp starts in August ... Avoided the injury bug in 2007 that had hampered him so much previously, with the exception of a broken hand sustained prior to the Cotton Bowl, but he played with a cast and had surgery in the off-season to make repairs ... Is the incumbent starter at the strongside linebacker spot, after playing there in all 14 games a year ago (making eight starts in all).

Had a pair of tackles against Illinois in the first start of his collegiate career ... Had four total tackles, three of which were solo stops, against Ole Miss ... Made five tackles against Western Michigan and added three stops against Illinois State ... Recorded one of his best games of the year against Nebraska, registering five tackles, including his first career sack, a seven-yard loss on NU's Sam Keller ... Made seven tackles as Tiger defense held Texas Tech to just 10 points ... Recorded three tackles against Iowa State ... Made five tackles and forced a fumble against Colorado ... The forced fumble was the first of his career ... Recorded five tackles against Texas A&M ... Had a pair of stops against Kansas State and recovered a fumble, his first recovery of the year ... Made five tackles against Kansas ... Had eight stops against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship ... Also plays on several special teams units, including serving as the primary personal protector for the punt unit.

Projected starter going into the season, who was held back by a groin injury all season long ... Missed the first six games of the season after entering fall camp atop the depth chart at the weakside spot ... After returning, recorded six tackles total, including a season-high three stops in game No. 11 at Iowa State ... Also had two stops the week prior at Nebraska ... Had a strong 2006 spring practice period that saw him win the team's most improved linebacker award.

Hometown product who made solid contributions in his first year on the field, playing in all 12 games ... Made biggest contributions on special teams, where he played on most of the Tiger return and coverage teams ... Showed his heady play at Colorado when he stayed home on the kickoff return team front line and recovered a surprise onside kick by the Buffs, to set up the Tigers near midfield ... Had 20 tackles on the season, with nine of second on the team in tackles made on kickoffs, with seven, and added two stops on punts ... Had one TFL in Mizzou's Independence Bowl victory over South Carolina ... Played the weakside linebacker spot on defense, and was listed No. 2 on the depth chart there for most of the year ... Had a career-high five tackles in the season opener vs. Arkansas State, and later followed with four stops in game No. 10 against Baylor ... Also had multiple tackle games against Troy (3), Texas (2), Nebraska (2) and Kansas State (2) ... Was making great strides in the spring before suffering a sprained foot in practice that required surgery and forced him to miss the majority of the spring period.

Redshirt season ... Had many impressive moments during practice, and also during fall camp ... Broke up two passes and had a tackle for loss in a short span during his first major scrimmage during fall camp.

Highly-coveted linebacker prospect who made his decision early in the recruiting process to play for his hometown school ... Rated as the No. 8 outside linebacker prospect in the country, according to Rivals.com, and the sixth-best overall talent in the state of Missouri at any position ... Recorded 132 tackles as a senior at Rock Bridge High School, as the Bruins won a conference championship ... Also rushed for 760 yards and 14 TDs out of the backfield and added 130 yards receiving on the year ... Earned all-state honors at linebacker, and was an all-conference and all-district pick at both linebacker and running back ... As a junior in 2002, was a central figure in the Bruins' third-place finish in the state championships, as he led the way defensively with 146 seven TDs rushing that year ... Named all-state, all-conference and all-district as a junior ... Played defensive back as a sophomore and earned all-district honors and honorable mention all-area honors at that position ... Holds Rock Bridge tackling records for single game (28), single season (146) and career (400) ... High school coach - A.J. Ofodile, a former Mizzou standout tight end ... Also played under current Tiger staffer Barry Odom.

Son of Rick & Dana Alexander ... Chose Mizzou over Iowa, among other schools ... Is majoring in business at Mizzou.

2005 12-0 14-6 20 0.5-1
2006 7-0 5-1 6 0-0
2007 13-9 26-31 57 1-7
Totals 32-9 45-38 83 1.5-8
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