Alexander looks for a role with Tigers' defensive backs

Mackensie Alexander. Provided.

Let's run this back. In last summer's edition of "Top 10 Tigers," sitting there at No. 8 was a freshman cornerback hoping for a big role at a position laden with unproven veterans.

In this summer's edition of "Top 10 Tigers," at No. 8, we give you ... a freshman cornerback hoping for a big role at a position laden with unproven veterans.

Both men are Mackensie Alexander. And no, it wasn't intentional to keep him at No. 8 - seriously, it just happened that way.

There is one major difference for the five-star recruit between 2013 and 2014, besides the redshirt designation.

No. 2 on your roster card will be expected, even more than a year ago, to be the No. 1 shutdown corner against the likes of Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell, Florida State's Rashad Greene, Louisville's DeVante Parker and a couple of USCcandidates.

Alexander reportedly looked good in spring workouts, and it's never been suggested he would have to fight for a starting job. Now, there's some conversation as to who starts opposite Alexander - sophomore Cordrea Tankersley is the name you need to file away, but don't forget about senior Garry Peters or junior Martin Jenkins.

However, since the front seven and back two enter the season with high expectations based on its bevy of experience, the microscope again for coordinator Brent Venables hones on the cornerbacks.

Bashaud Breeland was durable and dangerous with his 2013 playmaking, which allowed him to leap for the NFL Draft and get picked in the fourth round.

If Alexander delivers upon his immense promise this year and next, he'll get drafted much higher than that in 2016.

-Aaron Brenner


No. 10: Stephone Anthony

No. 9: Shaq Anthony

Coming up: No. 7: Tavaris Barnes