Hometown: South Charleston, WV
Record: 18-27, Bowl Record: 0-0
Robert Alexander was a shining star in a pretty dreadful era of Mountaineer football. West Virginia was in the midst of losing. There was hope on the horizon, as West Virginia was in the process of building the new Mountaineer Field. Alexander earned playing time as both a rusher and return player. He would share carries with other Mountaineer rushers such as Walter Easley, Dave Riley, and Dane Conwell. By the time he got to his junior season, he had earned the sole starting position. By the time he got to his senior season, Alexander was a major component of the Mountaineer offense. His senior year, Alexander rushed for 1,064 yards and 5 touchdowns. While his impressive talents could not get the Mountaineers into post season play during his career, he still holds a special place in the memory of West Virginia fans. For his career, Alexander had amassed 2,456 yards rushing, 551 yards receiving, and 8 touchdowns.
Memorable Game: The 1980 season was the first for West Virginia at Mountaineer Field. For the inaugural game at Mountaineer Field, the West Virginia Mountaineers would face the Cincinnati Bearcats. John Denver’s rousing performance of Country Roads was not the only highlight of the game. Alexander rushed for a career best 187 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Don Nehlen, in his first game as Mountaineer head coach, had led the Mountaineers in a dominating performance versus the Bearcats. West Virginia would cruise to an easy 41-27 win over Cincinnati.
Competition: The biggest challenger to Alexander was Dick Leftridge. Both players are memorable runners for the Mountaineers. Both have impressive career statistics. What sets Alexander apart is that he kept the Mountaineers afloat during a rough patch in Mountaineer history.
Teaser: The countdown shifts back to a more modern player for the #30 spot. This player was a fierce linebacker for the Mountaineers. Some fans might be a little jaded by this player’s off the field antics, but this player was one for the ages. When I think to an under-appreciated legacy, I think of Johnathan Taylor Thomas and his outstanding performance in Tom and Huck.