Mackensie Alexander signed with Clemson in 2013 out of Immokalee, Florida. He was rated a 5 star prospect and he was the 2nd rated Cornerback in the country. The top 5 that season was like a Who’s Who of the college Cornerbacks that made themselves eligible for the NFL Draft. Vernon Hargreaves III was the top rated guy and he signed with Florida. Alexander was 2nd and Eli Apple of Ohio State was 3rd. Coming in at 4th was Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and 5th was Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech.
Hard to argue with those rankings by ESPN. I personally preferred Alexander and Fuller, but Fuller was injured and missed the 2015 season. So, he dropped in the standings by the NFL folks. Alexander also dropped because of his lack of Interceptions. He fell all the way down to the Minnesota Vikings with the 54th pick in the 2nd round. The Vikings got a steal, in my opinion and
Alexander cost himself millions of dollars by leaving after having played only 2 seasons after his redshirt year.
Mackensie Alexander was about the only college Cornerback able to contain the speedy Will Fuller of Notre Dame when Fuller only caught 2 passes for 37 yards against Clemson.
That may have been partially because of the torrential downpour that happened during their game making for a wet and slippery field. But, it may have also been because Alexander is just that good.
With Alexander gone to the NFL, the shut down corner job now belongs to Cordrea Tankersley. The Tigers lost not only Alexander, but other secondary members Jayron Kearse and TJ Green also left early leaving only Tankersley.
All four of the Clemson Defensive Backs came in with the 2013 recruiting class. Alexander was the top ranked player in his class and 3 star Tankersley was near the bottom.
Alexander got the assignment of covering the opponents’ top receiver, and now that becomes Tankersley’s job.
Cordrea Tankersley was a back up to All ACC Cornerback Garry Peters in 2014. Then, Tankersley had to beat out Adrian Baker and a couple of others for the starting Cornerback spot opposite of Alexander.
Beat him out he did, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Last season, Cordrea Tankersley was 7th on the team in tackles with 48. He led the team with 5
Interceptions, and with 9 pass break ups.
Tankersley is also on the big side for a Cornerback at 6-1, 195 and if he plays well this year he could go pretty early on draft day because the NFL loves tall corners.
Not only his he tall, but he has outstanding speed with the ability to stay with about any Wide Receiver. He reportedly has run the 40 in the 4.3 range.
The Clemson Tigers’ defense only returns a few guys. Ben Boulware, Cordrea Tankersley, Carlos Watkins and Christian Wilkins are the only returning starters, but the Tigers went through the same situation last season losing all of their front seven. But, at this point in their program, Dabo Swinney and his staff simply reload.
For the upcoming football season, Cordrea Tankersly should be one of the top Cornerbacks in the nation.
He is no longer an afterthought on the Clemson Tiger roster.
He will now be the guy that has the task of shutting down an opponents best Wide Receiver and he should handle the job impressively.