Offenses have stayed away from Clemson’s Alexander

Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander guards during the Tigers’ win over Georgia State last season. (Clemson athletic communications)

magine the endorsements if Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander were actually allowed by the NCAA to endorse.

La-Z-Boy: the official lounge chair of Mackensie Alexander. Minute Maid Lemonade: Brought to you by Mackensie Alexander. Snickers: Got a minute? Mackensie Alexander has 60.

Poor guy. Nobody wants to play with him.

Opposing offenses went out of their way to avoid him. Despite a Clemson defense-high 766 snaps in 2014, Alexander ranked No. 19 in tackles with 22 — that’s one tackle for every 35 plays.

Doctor, mechanic and cornerback: three professions where the best ones send away customers without a return trip. Simply put, Alexander shut down his half of the field in 2014, with one slip-up only slightly marring what was unequivocally a thriving redshirt freshman season.

Alexander came to Clemson as one of its most ballyhooed defensive back recruits in years, and would have played — perhaps even started — in 2013 if not for a groin injury. Then he trotted out for 13 games last fall and barely had his name called by commentators, the chief goal of any corner. (By the way, Alexander had a meager six deflected passes and zero interceptions.)

Alas, there was one banana peel. Florida State’s Rashad Greene was racing down the right sideline toward a deep pass when Alexander tripped on the turf, leaving Greene free to score a momentum-swinging 80-yard touchdown in a game the Seminoles won in overtime.

Besides that, Alexander did his job as capably as he was expected. It’s a rich cornerback crop in the ACC — Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey and Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller are also standouts — meaning the mere journey for first-team all-ACC will be an entertaining one.

With Garry Peters gone from last year’s all-conference campaign, Clemson needs track star Cordrea Tankersley or hard-hitting Ryan Carter to step up, or one of the other young cornerbacks to emerge.

Those are question marks. Alexander’s impact, given good health, is not.

Friday: No. 10 DT D.J. Reader

Saturday: No. 9 C Ryan Norton

Sunday: No. 8 WR Mike Williams

Monday: No. 7 S Jayron Kearse

Tuesday: No. 6 LB Ben Boulware

Wednesday: No. 5 CB Mackensie Alexander

Thursday: No. 4