Mackensie Alexander—a 5-star cornerback from Immokalee, Florida—has committed to Clemson.
Right after committing, he was ready to make a bold statement, per Paul Myerberg of USA Today:
CB Mackensie Alexander commits to Clemson, says, "We're gonna win the national title."— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) February 6, 2013
And with starting corner Xavier Brewer from the Clemson Tigers graduating, it should be no shock that Alexander will likely start in 2013. Now, Alexander is a huge steal for the Tigers, as he was also considering Auburn, Mississippi State, Rutgers and Texas A&M.
By guaranteeing a national championship, the 5-star recruit will give the Tigers faithful something fun to talk about. How close they are is another question.
There's no denying that Alexander is a true steal for Dabo Swinney and should contribute very well on a defense that features one of the best young defensive lines in the ACC. Adding in the lock-down corner from Immokalee will give Swinney a key cog for at least three years in his defense.
The question here is how close they are to the national title. Alexander's impact on the defense will be great, as he can shut down anyone across from him, but is that enough to bring the Tigers—who went 11-2 (7-1 ACC) and beat LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl—to the forefront and win the national title?
They are only returning six players who started on their offense and eight players who started on their defense for 2013. They will have to get contributions from inexperienced players to stand a chance this season to get back to the 11-win mark, let alone the national title.
However, Swinney is a great coach, and with Brent Venables helping him get another great recruiting class based around Shaq Lawson—a defensive end from Hargrave Military—and now Alexander, the Tigers could end up surprising as a national title winner in 2014 or even 2015.
But for now, the claim of national championships will have to wait. Alexander has to come in and earn his spot in the starting lineup. He should do that easily though, and it wouldn't shock anyone to see him start the first game of the season versus the Georgia Bulldogs.