The long, winding road that was Mackensie Alexander's recruiting finally came to an end Wednesday morning when the nation's No. 7-ranked cornerback declared for the Clemson Tigers.
Alexander's pledge, along with the expected signature of Rockingham (NC) four-star offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder later today, could give Clemson's recruiting class a finish inside of the nation's top 15. It should be noted that since Rivals.com went online in 1999, Clemson has not signed three consecutive top 15 recruiting class (citing only Rivals.com's rankings).
Alexander, rated 42nd nationally overall regardless of position and eighth overall regardless of position in the state of Florida, had changed course in his recruiting many times over the last year, publicly listing a different leader well over a dozen times. But Clemson had been a constant in his lead group for much of the last six months. And the Tigers have significant needs in the secondary for 2013.
Alexander had been communicating to Clemson's staff for weeks that the Tigers were the team to beat, but Auburn's staff also felt good about its chances entering National Signing Day.
The US Army All-American, who gave serious consideration to numerous programs, including Auburn and Texas A&M, becomes one of the highest-rated defensive back signees for the Tigers in over a decade, joining just four additional former Tiger defensive back recruits who held at least a 6.0 marker from Rivals.com; DeAndre McDaniel in 2007, Travis Blanks in 2012, Marcus Gilchrist in 2007 and Brian Mance in 1999.
The Immokalee, Fla. product held offers from coast to coast, namely Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Notre Dame among many others.
Alexander's pledge capped off a busy morning for Clemson's coaches, who also acquired signatures from two additional highly rated defensive backs in Hollywood (Fla.) athlete and former Florida State commit Adrian Baker and Durham (NC) Hillside's Korrin Wiggins, a longtime UNC verbal commit who opted to flip to the Tigers at a news conference.
Crowder is expected to announce on ESPNU at or shortly after 4 p.m.
As of 1:40 p.m. EST, Clemson's recruiting class was ranked 14th nationally by Rivals.com.
**** Also a reminder, tomorrow Tigerillustrated.com will be releasing part I of our Behind The Scenes/War Room as well as part I of our onsite interview with Clemson's all-time leading rusher, Raymond Priester, conducted in Atlanta, Ga. last week.
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