Came on strong late in the spring to earn the starting nod going into August ... The position remains open, however, and he will have to continue to outpace his competitors ... An intelligent player who also saw some action at fullback during the spring; has the toughness and smarts to play both running back spots ... Had 12 carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns in the Blue/White Spring Game ... Played the backup role last season behind the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, Artose Pinner ... Has good toughness and has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield ... Has played in 12 games with one start.
2002 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 12 games, including a start in the season finale at Tennessee ... Rushed for a season-high 34 yards on 10 carries against the Volunteers ... Finished the season with 81 yards on 29 attempts, including a long gain of 10 yards ... Caught five passes for 29 yards, including an 18-yard pickup against Texas-El Paso ... Member of the kickoff and punt return units that helped Derek Abney take back six kicks for touchdowns ... Earned his first varsity letter.
2001 (Freshman): Redshirted.
High School: Running back prospect with a good combination of size, speed, and power ... Played two years for Champlain Prep of Lennoxville, Quebec, helping lead his team to a pair of conference championships ... Named the Conference Offensive Player of the Year last season ... In eight regular season games, he rushed 111 times for 712 yards, a 6.4-yard average, and nine touchdowns ... Led the league in rushing and scoring ... Added 145 yards in the conference semifinal playoff game ... Chosen the Offensive Player of the Game in the conference championship, rushed for 156 yards and scored all three of his team's TDs in a 21-12 win ... Also returned punts and kickoffs for Champlain, averaging 25 yards per kickoff return and 9.4 yards on punt returns ... Played both running back and receiver during the 1999 season ... Rushed 88 times for 517 yards, 5.9 per carry, and four touchdowns ... Caught nine pass passes for 169 yards and three TDs as a receiver ... Was the runner-up for Conference Rookie of the Year ... "Alexis is a strong and powerful runner, with great vision, quickness, and speed," said Champlain Prep Coach Tony Addona. "He also catches the ball well and is a fierce competitor." ... Also a forward in basketball, helping lead Champlain to the provincial championship ... Prior to Champlain, he played five years of football at Seminaire St. Francois HS for Coach Luc Savois.
Personal: Full name is Alexis Rukundo Bwenge ... Name is pronounced "ah-LEX-ee buh-GEENG-ee" ... Born 10-19-81 in Quebec City, Quebec ... Son of Mariette Dumas ... Major is political science.
The Cats' Cause: Served meals at the Hope Center (2001) ... Participated in a service event at the Ronald McDonald House (2001 and 2002).
Bwenge Career Statistics
Year Pos. Att. Yds. Avg. TD Long Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Long 2002 Tailback 29 81 2.9 0 10 5 29 5.8 0 18