Mackensie Alexander, the first cornerback in Clemson history to start every game as a freshman, has been named a first-team Freshman All-American by the Football Writers of America. Alexander and Virginia safety Quin Blanding were the only ACC players named to the 30-man team.
Alexander started all 13 games during the Tigers 10-3 season that included wins over South Carolina and Oklahoma to finish the campaign. Clemson was ranked 15th in the final AP and USA Today polls released on Tuesday.
The native of Immokalee, Fla had 22 tackles on 18 first hits and four assists, and added six passes broken up and a recovered fumble. He had a strong game against Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl when he had four tackles and two passes broken up. Sterling Sheppard, Oklahoma’s top receiver with a 19-yard average for the season, had just one reception for 13 yards against Alexander and the Clemson secondary.
Alexander was a big reason Clemson led the nation on pass efficiency defense and ranked second in passing yards allowed. Clemson led the nation in total defense, and tackles for loss, and was second in scoring defense.
Alexander is the fifth Clemson player to make the Football Writers Freshman All-America team since it began in 2001. The others to make it are Justin Miller (CB, 2002), Barry Richardson (OT, 2004), Brandon Maye (LB, 2008), and Sammy Watkins (WR, 2011)
This is the second Freshman All-America Team for Alexander. He was also named second-team by Athlon.