CLEMSON, S.C. — Sophomore cornerback Mackensie Alexander has been named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list for 2015. The award, which dates to 1986, is presented each year to the top defensive back in the nation.
Alexander is one of five ACC players on the list. Other league players include Quin Blanding of Virginia, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech and Jalen Ramsey of Florida State.
Alexander is also one on of just five sophomores on the list. He is joined by Budda Baker of Washington, Quin Blanding of Virginia, Adoree Jackson of Southern California and Parry Nickerson of Tulane.
Alexander was a first-team Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America in 2014 when he helped the Tigers rank first in the nation in total defense and pass efficiency defense. He had 22 tackles and six passes broken up.
In starting all 13 games, a first for a Clemson freshman cornerback, Alexander allowed just 20 receptions in 57 pass attempts at the man he was guarding for 280 yards and two touchdowns. He did not give up a touchdown in the last nine games of the year and opponents averaged just 4.91 yards per pass attempt when throwing at the man he was covering.
The Thorpe Award winner will be announced on December 10, 2015 in Atlanta, Ga., at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show at the College Football Hall of Fame. The event will be televised by ESPN.
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