ALEX OKAFOR

Defensive End

University of Texas Longhorns

#80

6:04.5-261

Pflugerville, Texas

Pflugerville High School

 

OVERVIEW

One of the most sought-after prospects in the country during his senior season at Pflugerville High School, Okafor left behind his blue chip status to embrace a blue collar work ethic upon enrolling at the University of Texas. He would be an invaluable performer on the defensive line at UT, first lining up at the “Buck” (weak-side defensive end) position before moving inside to strong-side tackle as a sophomore.

 

Okafor would also compete at outside linebacker in certain passing situations during the course of his college career. As a junior, he settled in at strong-side end, starting 25-of-26 games at that position before concluding his Longhorns career. Ironically, in his final appearance in Texas “colors,” he returned to his original position by lining up at weak-side end during practices in Mobile, Alabama leading up to the 2013 Senior Bowl.

 

As a full-time starter, Okafor enjoyed back-to-back seasons with at least fifty tackles to show for his efforts. Since shifting to strong-side end, he recorded all but 3.5 of the 23.0 sacks he was credited for as a Longhorn, a total that ranks eleventh on the school career-record chart. He also posted 29 of his 34 stops behind the line of scrimmage and twenty of his 29 quarterback pressures playing at the strong-side edge slot.

 

Before he ever suited up in Austin, Okafor was a standout All-American and two-time All-State defensive end at Plugerville High School. He was rated the nation’s top strong-side defensive end and the 14th-best prospect on the Rivals.com top 100 national list. He was a member of ESPNU’s top 150 national prospects chart and ranked as the top defensive end in the state of Texas by ESPNU.

 

Okafor was tabbed honorable mention Class 5A All-State by the Texas Sports Writers Association as a junior. He was also a first-team All-District 14-5A and All-CenTex pick, as he helped lead Pflugerville to a 13-4 record and a berth in the Class 5A Div. II state title clash. He notched 72 tackles and eight sacks in 2008.

 

The two-time Academic All-District selection received All-American honors from both Parade and EA Sports as a senior. He added first-team 5A All-State accolades from the Associated Press and was also an All-district 25-5A and All-CenTex selection for the second consecutive season in 2009. He registered 59 tackles, twelve sacks, seventeen stops behind the line of scrimmage, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.

 

Okafor would conclude his high school career by first starting in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He then participated in the inaugural Hawaii Prep Football Classic. A three-year starter for the football team, he also lettered twice in basketball.

 

Okafor arrived on the University of Texas campus as a 250-pound freshman. Rather than spend the season on the scout team, he appeared in fourteen games as a reserve at the “Buck” position. He posted eighteen tackles (9 solos) with 1.5 stops-for-loss and two pressures for the Longhorns.

 

 

 

Even though he weighed just 258 pounds as a sophomore in 2010 fall camp, the coaches moved Okafor to strong-side defensive tackle, where he started eight of the twelve games he appeared in. He produced 28 tackles (13 solos), registering 3.5 sacks and seven pressures while also causing a fumble.

 

Okafor continued to bulk up during the off-season, anticipating that he would remain as a defensive tackle in 2011. But, late in fall camp, he was again shifted, this time becoming the full-time starter at strong-side end. He was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and was a unanimous All-Big Twelve Conference pick. He produced 12.5 tackles-for-loss, including seven sacks, causing interceptions on four of his eleven QB pressures. He finished the year with 50 tackles, three pass deflections and a pair of forced fumbles.

 

The 2012 season saw Okafor again receive All-Big Twelve Conference honors. He started twelve games, seeing just limited action vs. Kansas State after missing most of the Texas Christian game due to a right ankle sprain. He still managed to lead the league and tie for ninth in the nation with 12.5 sacks, as his 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage placed second in the Big Twelve. He also made nine pressures and caused four fumbles.

 

Okafor had a stellar week in practice at the 2013 Senior Bowl, more than holding his own vs. the elite offensive tackles in the 2013 draft class. However, a bruised hip flexor suffered in Mobile would prevent the Longhorn from working out for teams in the agility tests at the NFL Scouting Combine.

 

The Longhorn is a well-proportioned athlete with good upper body muscle development. He has broad shoulders with good lower body width, large hands, big bubble, thick thighs and calves, built more like an under-tackle that a rush end. He is a tenacious strong-side defensive end who plays with a high motor and with excellent intensity.

 

Okafor has loose hips and good flexibility when redirecting, doing a very good job of staying on his feet moving down the line. He has an above average burst off the edge and shows acceleration when working in space. He is very combative with his hands when attempting to disengage when challenged by double teams working inside, as his strong anchor makes it difficult for blockers to push him back off the line of scrimmage or out of the rush lanes.

 

Okafor is explosive out of his stance, and because of his strong lower body and powerful arm swipes, he is equally effective working in-line through traffic and coming off the edge. He is quick to engage the offensive tackles and tight ends and has a good feel for blocking schemes.

 

While not field fast, in the short area, Okafor flashes some cat-like quickness, especially when reacting to movement. He is rarely late off the snap at the X’s, and rather than getting a little too eager to penetrate, he has a good feel for the play developing and shows patience letting the action come to him.

 

From a sheer strength point, Okafor has more natural power than his weight room figures indicate (21 reps at 225 pounds at the Combine). He generates a good jolt in his hips and hands to rock the offensive tackle back on his heels during the bull rush. He has enough speed and explosion to get an edge.

 

Despite his size, he is stronger than he looks, as he plays with leverage and keeps his pads down, making it tough to block him head-on. He does not get washed by some down blocks, as his active hand swipes make it hard for blockers to try and overpower him when he “heads up the gut.”

 

CAREER NOTES

Okafor started 33-of-52 games at the University of Texas – eight contests at weak-side defensive tackle and 25 at strong-side defensive end…Recorded 150 tackles (88 solos), ranking 11th in school history with 23.0 sacks for minus 171 yards…Added 34.0 stops for losses of 200 yards and 29 quarterback pressures…Caused seven fumbles and had one fumble recovery…Deflected four passes and blocked one kick.

 

2012 SEASON

An All-American third-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, Okafor started twelve of the thirteen games he played in at strong-side defensive end, as he earned unanimous All-Big Twelve Conference recognition for the second consecutive year…Shared the team’s Clyde Littlefield Most Spirited Defensive Player Award with Desmond Jackson and Kenny Vaccaro, as he also shared the team’s Joseph W. Moore Tenacity Award for Defense and Team Captain Award with Kenny Vaccaro…Earned the Roy Williams-Joe Jamail Leader-ship Award…Led the league and tied for ninth in the nation with 12.5 sacks for minus 90 yards, as that total ranks seventh on the school season-record list and were the most sacks by a Longhorn since Tony Degrate posted thirteen sacks in 1984…Ranked second in the Big Twelve with a career-high 16.5 stops for losses of 98 yards, helping the team average 7.69 tackles behind the line of scrimmage per game, the best figure in the Big Twelve and sixth-best in the nation…Had nine pressures, as he caused four fumbles, becoming one of just four Football Bowl Sub-division performers to record at least four forced fumbles and twelve sacks during the 2012 schedule…Also deflected a pass and blocked one kick…Registered five tackles (four solo), including a sack vs. Wyoming to earn co-defensive player of the game honors (also Jackson Jeffcoat) from the coaches… Posted four tackles, including two for a loss and two sacks, long with a pair of QB pressures vs. Mississippi, as he registered sacks on back-to-back plays in the second quarter, the first time that occurred in fourteen years…The last player to accomplish that feat was Cedric Woodard, who was involved in sacks on consecutive plays (solo and a half sack) vs. Texas A&M in 1998…Recorded six tackles (three solo), including a sack vs. Oklahoma State, as he also tied a career high with four QB pressures vs. the Cowboys… Registered three tackles, including two sacks, two pressures, one blocked punt, and a career-high tying two forced fumbles vs. West Virginia to earn Big Twelve Defensive Player of the Week honors and CFPA honorable mention Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades…Added three tackles, including one for a loss, one pass break-up, and one pressure vs. Oklahoma…Posted ten tackles, including two for a loss and one sack vs. Baylor…Followed with a career-high thirteen tackles, including one for a loss, one forced fumble, and three QB pressures vs. Kansas…Produced nine tackles, including one for a loss, and one pressure vs. Iowa State…Made one tackle and one pressure before leaving the Texas Christian game in the first quarter when a TCU offensive lineman rolled over his right ankle…Had a dominant performance in the Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State, as he earned Defensive MVP honors after registering eight tackles, including career highs in tackles for loss (6) and sacks (4.5). His sack total set an Alamo Bowl game record (former mark: 3.5 by Purdue’s Chike Okeafor in 1998) and ranks second on the school’s all-time single-game list (5.0 by Shane Dronnet vs. Texas Tech in 1990). That sack total was also tied for second in an FBS game during the season (5.0 by Quanterus Smith, Western Kentucky vs. Florida International; 4.5 by Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina vs. Clemson), while his tackle-for-loss tally is third most in a UT game (7.0 – Tim Crowder at Rice, 2006; 6.5 – Steve McMichael vs. Texas Tech, 1979).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 SEASON

An All-American first-team selection by the American Football Coaches Association, Okafor added third-team honors from The NFL Draft Report…Was also a unanimous first- team All-Big Twelve Conference choice, in addition to being on the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award watch list…Started all thirteen games at strong-side defensive end, recording 50 tackles (25 solos), as he tied for seventh in the league with seven sacks for minus 36 yards and ranked eighth in the Big Twelve with 12.5 stops for losses of 49 yards…Credited with eleven QB pressures, as he caused two fumbles, recovered another and deflected three passes…Helped the Longhorns lead the league in total defense (306.08 ypg; 11th in the nation) and rush defense (sixth nationally at 96.23 ypg)…Tallied a season-high eight tackles with one sack, one fumble recovery and a pressure at Iowa State…Recorded seven tackles, three stops-for-loss that included a sack and three pressures vs. Kansas State to help the defense limit the Wildcats to 121 yards of total offense…Finished with eight tackles including two behind the line of scrimmage and one sack at Missouri…Had two sacks, three pressures and six tackles vs. Texas Tech to earn the team’s Defensive Player of the Week award…Posted four tackles, two for loss, one sack and a career-high two caused fumbles vs. Kansas to earn CFPA honorable mention Defensive Lineman of the Week…Added five tackles, two stops behind the line of scrimmage, a sack and two pressures vs. Oklahoma State…Followed with two tackles, one pass break-up and four pressures at Texas A&M to earn CFPA honorable mention Defensive Lineman of the Week…Had eight tackles at Baylor helped lead the defense to a shutout performance vs. Kansas, allowing only 46 yards of total offense and minus two rushing yards…Posted four tackles while helping the defense hold California to seven rushing yards and 195 yards of total offense in the Holiday Bowl.

 

2010 SEASON

Okafor appeared in twelve games, starting eight contests at weak-side defensive tackle…

Registered 28 tackles (13 solos) with 3.5 sacks for minus 45 yards and seven pressures, as he also caused one fumble…Helped Texas rank sixth in the nation in total defense (300.2 ypg) and pass defense (161.6 ypg)…Posted two tackles (one solo), 0.5 sacks and three pressures at Texas Tech…Notched four tackles (three solo) and one pressure at Oklahoma and was in on three tackles (two solo), one sack and a pressure at Nebraska… Registered seven tackles (four solo) at Kansas State and tallied two tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and three pressures vs. Oklahoma State.

 

2009 SEASON

Okafor appeared in fourteen games as a reserve at the “Buck” (weak-side defensive end) position, playing mostly on special teams…Credited with eighteen tackles (9 solos) that included 1.5 stops for minus 8 yards and two pressures, on the way to being named to the All-Big Twelve Conference Freshman team by Sporting News.

 

INJURY REPORT

2012 Season…Okafor had to leave the Texas Christian game midway through the first quarter after having his right ankle rolled up on by a lunging offensive lineman near the goal line. He tried to put weight on it, but required assistance from trainers to limp off the field after an injury time out. He did not return to the contest and the following week, he saw limited action vs. Kansas State.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.67 in the 40-yard dash…1.67 10-yard dash…2.70 20-yard dash…4.37 20-yard shuttle…

7.04 three-cone drill…33-inch vertical jump…9’5” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times…33 1/8-inch arm length…9-inch hands…79 7/8-inch wingspan.

 

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Okafor attended Pflugerville (Tex.) High School, playing football for head coach George Herrmann…Standout All-American and two-time All-State defensive end…Rated the nation’s top strong-side defensive end and the 14th-best prospect on the Rivals.com top 100 national list…Member of ESPNU’s top 150 national prospects chart and ranked as the top defensive end in the state of Texas by ESPNU…Tabbed honorable mention Class 5A All-State by the Texas Sports Writers Association as a junior…Also a first-team All-District 14-5A and All-CenTex pick, as he helped lead Pflugerville to a 13-4 record and a berth in the Class 5A Div. II state title clash…Notched 72 tackles and eight sacks in 2008…The two-time Academic All-District selection received All-American honors from both Parade and EA Sports as a senior…Added first-team 5A All-State accolades from the Associated Press and was also an All-District 25-5A and All-CenTex selection for the second consecutive season in 2009…Registered 59 tackles, twelve sacks, seventeen stops behind the line of scrimmage, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt…Concluded his high school career by first starting in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl…He then participated in the inaugural Hawaii Prep Football Classic…A three-year starter for the football team, he also lettered twice in basketball.

 

PERSONAL

Okafor earned his bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications in December, 2012…

Three-time member of UT’s Athletics Director’s Honor Roll…Active in community service, as he volunteered to work at the Timmerman Elementary Science Fair…Cousin, Eric Alexander, played football at Louisiana State (2000-03) and also played linebacker for the New England Patriots…Born 2/08/91 in Dallas, Texas, Okafor lived in Arlington until age seven and Houston from ages seven to nine before moving to Pflugerville.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK PRES
2009 14 00 018  09  09  00  00  00  01.5-08   00  00.0-00    02
2010 12 08 028  13  15  00  01  00  03.5-45   00  03.5-45    07
2011 13 13 050  25  25  01  02  00  12.5-49   03  07.0-36    11
2012 13 12 054  41  13  00  04  00  16.5-98   01  12.5-90    09
TOTAL 52 33 150  88  62  01  07  00  34.0-200   04  23.0-171    29

ADDITIONAL STATISTICS…Blocked a kick vs. West Virginia in 2012.

 

OKAFOR GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Peres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Wyoming 09/01/12 Wyoming 37-17

Yes

1

4

0

1

8

0

1

8

0

0

2

0

New Mexico 09/08/12 New Mexico 45-0

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Ole Miss 09/15/12 at Ole Miss 66-31

Yes

0

3

0

2

12

0

2

12

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma St. 09/29/12 at Oklahoma St. 41-36

Yes

0

3

0

1

5

0

1

5

0

0

0

0

West Virginia 10/06/12 West Virginia 45-48

Yes

0

2

0

2

16

0

2

16

0

2

3

1

Oklahoma 10/13/12 Oklahoma 21-63

Yes

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Baylor 10/20/12 Baylor 56-50

Yes

2

5

0

2

7

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

Kansas 10/27/12 at Kansas 21-17

Yes

2

11

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

Texas Tech 11/03/12 at Texas Tech 31-22

Yes

0

2

0

1

8

0

1

8

0

0

0

0

Iowa St. 11/10/12 Iowa St. 33-7

Yes

3

6

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

TCU 11/22/12 TCU 13-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Kansas St. 12/01/12 at Kansas St. 24-42

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon St. 12/29/12 Oregon St. 31-27

Yes

3

5

2

4

40

1

4

39

0

1

0

0

Season Totals

13

41

3

15

98

1

12

90

1

4

9

1

 

 

 

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Peres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Rice 09/03/11 Rice 34-9

Yes

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BYU 09/10/11 BYU 17-16

Yes

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

UCLA 09/17/11 at UCLA 49-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Iowa St. 10/01/11 at Iowa St. 37-14

Yes

2

3

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

Oklahoma 10/08/11 Oklahoma 17-55

Yes

2

1

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Oklahoma St. 10/15/11 Oklahoma St. 26-38

Yes

4

1

1

1

2

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

Kansas 10/29/11 Kansas 43-0

Yes

0

2

0

2

13

0

1

8

0

2

0

0

Texas Tech 11/05/11 Texas Tech 52-20

Yes

4

2

0

2

15

0

2

15

0

0

3

0

Missouri 11/12/11 at Missouri 5-17

Yes

4

4

0

2

8

0

1

7

0

0

0

0

Kansas St. 11/19/11 Kansas St. 13-17

Yes

2

3

1

2

6

0

1

4

0

0

3

0

Texas A&M 11/24/11 at Texas A&M 27-25

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Baylor 12/03/11 at Baylor 24-48

Yes

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

California 12/28/11 California 21-10

Yes

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

25

25

3

11

49

0

7

36

3

2

11

0

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Peres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Rice 09/04/10 Rice 34-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wyoming 09/11/10 Wyoming 34-7

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas Tech 09/18/10 at Texas Tech 24-14

Yes

0

1

0

1

13

0

1

13

0

0

0

0

UCLA 09/25/10 UCLA 12-34

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma 10/02/10 Oklahoma 20-28

Yes

2

3

1

0

5

1

0

5

0

0

0

0

Nebraska 10/16/10 at Nebraska 20-13

Yes

1

2

0

1

7

0

1

7

0

0

0

0

Iowa St. 10/23/10 Iowa St. 21-28

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Baylor 10/30/10 Baylor 22-30

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kansas St. 11/06/10 at Kansas St. 14-39

Yes

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma St. 11/13/10 Oklahoma St. 16-33

Yes

1

1

0

1

20

0

1

20

0

1

3

0

Fla. Atlantic 11/20/10 Fla. Atlantic 51-17

Yes

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Texas A&M 11/25/10 Texas A&M 17-24

Yes

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Season Totals

15

13

1

3

45

1

3

45

0

1

7

0

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Peres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

La.-Monroe 09/05/09 La.-Monroe 59-20

Yes

2

2

1

1

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wyoming 09/12/09 at Wyoming 41-10

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas Tech 09/19/09 Texas Tech 34-24

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UTEP 09/26/09 UTEP 64-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado 10/10/09 Colorado 38-14

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma 10/17/09 Oklahoma 16-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Missouri 10/24/09 at Missouri 41-7

Yes

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma St. 10/31/09 at Oklahoma St. 41-14

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCF 11/07/09 UCF 35-3

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Baylor 11/14/09 at Baylor 47-14

Yes

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kansas 11/21/09 Kansas 51-20

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas A&M 11/26/09 at Texas A&M 49-39

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nebraska 12/05/09 at Nebraska 13-12

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 01/07/10 at Alabama 21-37

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

9

9

1

1

8

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

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