Freshman corners Mackensie Alexander, Adrian Baker, Marcus Edmond as-advertised

Dabo Swinney: 'Those young corners are going to be pretty dang good'

Fan Appreciation Day - Mackensie Alexander

Photo by Mark Crammer

Fan Appreciation Day - Mackensie Alexander

Mackensie Alexander came out of south Florida's Immokalee High School ranked as the nation's No. 1 cornerback prospect.

Adrian Baker is a former Florida State commitment who was ranked as another of Florida's best at the position.

Marcus Edmond, who played for the same high school coach as Bashaud Breeland, played primarily at quarterback in high school, but was rated as Rivals as the No. 3 defensive back prospect in South Carolina.

They're the next wave of rangy, physical, athletic corners at Clemson, and during the first third of the Tigers' spring practice, they've been as advertised, and more.

"Those young corners are going to be pretty dang good," Dabo Swinney said Wednesday evening after the Tigers wrapped up practice until after spring break. "It's very encouraging."

Swinney, defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and secondary coach Mike Reed had been waiting for months to see Alexander in action.

Now fully recovered after surgery to repair a groin injury in the fall, Alexander quickly caught Swinney's eye when the Tigers began their workouts.

"He doesn't say much - he just competes," Swinney said. "He's driven. He's trying to get better every day. He makes a mistake or gets beat and it doesn't faze him - he comes back, reloads and gets back at it.

"I love that in a corner. He's a very tough-minded kid."

Unlike Alexander, who was injured last August almost before he got started, Swinney saw enough during preseason camp to know what to expect from Baker and Edmonds. He said Baker would likely have played last fall had he not been injured, and that the staff "bit the bullet" on redshirting Edmonds.

"Every time I look up, Adrian Baker's making a play...getting an interception," Swinney said. "Technique-wise, he's as good as anybody we've got - playing with off-hands and things like that. And he finishes plays - he gets his hands on balls.

"It's the same thing with Marcus Edmond."

The Tigers' current depth chart lists all of the freshmen as backups behind rising senior corners Martin Jenkins and Garry Peters. But with Martin sitting out the spring while recovering from shoulder surgery, and Peters suspended for the opener against Georgia, the door is wide open for the young corners to make their mark sooner rather than later in the Tiger secondary.

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Comments » 1

soljsum#292781 writes:

Well good article, but I think you are mistaken on Marcus Edmond coming from Breeland's school. I went to school with Marcus and unless he transferred to another high school after I graduated in 11, he went to Lower Richland High School.

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