When Kiko Alonso was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the NFL draft, there was very little fanfare. In fact, his selection provoked a fairly negative response from the Bills’ fans who were present at the time. Now, at Week 9 in the NFL season, Alonso has quickly become one of the most beloved players on the team, and is proving he is one of the most disruptive, ferocious and prolific defensive players in the league.
Currently, he is second in the league with 81 tackles, with 43 solo, and also has 4 interceptions (tying him for the league lead), a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a sack. In a single game against the Cincinnati, he had 22 tackles. He even has his own grassroots social-media campaign set up by fans: #thelegendofKikoAlonso. Yet, unsurprisingly, the introverted Alonso has said very little about his accomplishments.
It has been a long and convoluted road for Alonso. He was a human torpedo at Los Gatos High School in California, and then was signed by Oregon. His rookie season he was one of the main backup players, and all seemed to be going well, but then he injured his knee and did not play during that sophomore season. Then there was the notorious moment, when he broke into a woman’s home, in a severely inebriated state. Arrested and then suspended from the team, the future seemed bleak for the linebacker.
From that point on, Alonso would only get better, as a person and as a player. He worked his way back into the good graces of Chip Kelly and the Oregon coaching staff with humility and hard work. He began to play like the linebacker he had been in high school, a battering ram knocking opposing players off their feet, culminating with him being awarded defensive MVP honors for his performance in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Then came the draft, and the Bills made him the 46th-overall pick, and those boos and angry mutters came from the audience at the draft.
In his first game against New England, a close 23-21 loss, he had 9 tackles, plus forced a fumble and recovered it as well. In his subsequent games, he had 10, 8, 5, 12, 22, 4, and 11 tackles and also had two interceptions against Baltimore. With only a couple of average statistical games, Alonso has shown that he is much more than an every-down linebacker, but one who has a chance to develop into one of the most relentless, fearless and devastating players in the NFL.
He is the leading candidate for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and, unless he suddenly stops making tackles, it is highly likely that he will win the honor. And if he does, then #thelegendofKikoAlonso will only grow.
From Los Gatos to Eugene to Buffalo, and from a troubled player to a dominating one, Alonso has experienced the highs and lows only a few have recovered from, to find success. He has legions of fans, game plans are designed around his presence and is compared in toughness to Chuck Norris.
So – how do those Bills’ fans at the Draft Ceremony feel now?
Don Gilman is a second-year communications major at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. In addition to writing for FishDuck.com, he has been published in the Roseburg News-Review Newspaper, the UCC Mainstream Newspaper, Bucketlist Publications and is the featured author in the June, 2013 edition of eHorror magazine (under a pseudonym.) In 2013 Don received two awards from the Oregon Newspaper Association’s annual statewide college competition: Third place for Best Feature Story and second place for Best Spot Photography.
FishDuck Has New Off-Season Schedule and see the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
FishDuck articles will now be on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday only during the off-season, and then we will go back to seven days a week during the football season beginning in August.
We will have some occasional guest articles later in the week, but the hottest Oregon football information will be posted in the OBD forum!
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!