The Wall Of Excellence, Class Of 2012: Danario Alexander

So I made an executive decision with this year's Wall class. The original intent was to hold votes for five people -- one from the offensive backfield, one receiver/tight end/defensive back, two offensive linemen/defensive linemen/linebackers, and an administrator -- then select a sixth member by myself (a one-man veteran's committee, so to speak). But if we're to follow a "not eligible until their career is over" path for the administrators (and that was the original intent here), that eliminates Gary Pinkel and Mike Alden ... and creates a weak pool compared to some of the players who wouldn't have otherwise gotten in. So for this year, I decided to forego that selection in favor of two 'veteran's committee' picks. I didn't figure anybody would mind too much. Anyway, it's time to unveil this year's class (alphabetically). It's a good one.

Honestly, during this selection process, I mourned the recency effect and its impact on voting. That said, I just couldn't help myself when it came to our first inductee. He was my No. 1 choice in his group despite basically playing only one full season in which he wasn't a) injured or b) a raw freshman. His 2009 season made that much of an impact with me. And I clearly wasn't alone.

Danario Alexander (2006-09)

2006: 21 targets, 15 catches (71% catch rate), 251 yards (12.0 per target)
2007: 42 targets, 31 catches (74% catch rate), 363 yards (8.6 per target)
2008: 42 targets, 26 catches (62% catch rate), 329 yards (7.8 per target)
2009: 159 targets, 113 catches (71% catch rate), 1,781 yards (11.2 per target)
TOTAL: 264 targets, 185 catches (70% catch rate), 2,724 yards (10.3 per target)

For three years, Danario Alexander just offered small tastes of what he could do. In 2006, he showed major breakaway speed against Nebraska and in the Sun Bowl (and, perhaps most of all, when he sprinted by Aqib Talib in forming an unnecessary convoy for Jared Perry during Perry's touchdown against Kansas). In 2007, he looked great against Illinois, then broke his hand. Then he looked great against Nebraska and All-World against Kansas ... then tore his ACL. After multiple surgeries, he returned in 2008 and, while still running a bit gingerly, he proved himself a decent red zone threat.

Then 2009 happened. Mizzou fans entered 2009 wondering if the Tigers had a No. 1 receiver on the roster ... and all Alexander did was put together the best season a Mizzou receiver has ever had. A career mark of 113 catches, 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns is pretty good ... and Danario did that in under four months. In the month of November alone, he had 49 catches for 820 yards and six touchdowns, better than Mizzou's second-leading receiver had for the entire season. Watching him put together what should have been a Biletnikoff Award-winning season was one of the more gratifying experiences this Mizzou fan has ever experienced. Despite the multitude of injuries, Danario ended his career with 191 catches, 2,778 yards and 22 touchdowns. In his first NFL game, following another series of injury issues, he caught a long touchdown pass from Sam Bradford.

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