Venables likes what he sees in Mackensie Alexander


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Mackensie Alexander will be counted on to make an impact this fall
Mackensie Alexander will be counted on to make an impact this fall

CLEMSON – The first half of Clemson’s spring practice has been business as usual for Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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and the Clemson defense, but there are a couple of younger players that have caught his eye.

The Tigers wrapped up practice number eight Friday afternoon, and Venables said it has been a typical spring.

“We're halfway through, there has been some good, some not so good. It's your typical spring,” Venables told the media. “We're really stressing effort and fundamentals, we're mixing and matching personnel and evaluating some guys that we're stressing, guys we need to mature quickly. I've been pleased with effort for the most part."

While the defense doesn’t have a lot of questions entering 2014, the secondary has and will be a concern because of depth and injury issues. That’s why it was welcome news when Venables said that two freshman defensive backs have managed to stand out - redshirt freshman cornerbacks MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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and Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
RS Fr. Cornerback
#21 6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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.

"I would just say Mackensie is the one because we lost a couple of starters at a position that we're thin. He's had a nice first seven, eight practices,” Venables said. “Adrian Baker has as well. They give you reason to believe by the end of fall camp that we'll have some guys ready to play, as far as guys who have not been on the field for us."

Another position that has to be filled is the SAM linebacker spot that had been filled by Quandon ChristianQuandon Christian
Linebacker (2009 - 2013)
#34 6-2, 225
Lake View, SC

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.

"Right now T.J. BurrellT.J. Burrell
RS So. Linebacker
#41 5-11, 215
Goose Creek, SC

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and Dorian O'DanielDorian O'Daniel
RS Fr. Linebacker
#6 6-1, 205
Olney, MD

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have gotten a majority of the reps,” Venables said. “I've been really pleased with both of those guys. For T.J., this is kind of the year where I expect him to get both feet in and be the kind of player we believe he can be. Dorian has been learning on the fly. He's competitive and athletic. They're both physical."

He also has to replace Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Linebacker (2009 - 2013)
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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’s production at the WILL, but Venables said that Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-0, 235
Hastings, FL

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has been up to the challenge.

"Spencer made a ton of big plays and was so incredibly consistent,” Venables said. “Tony is capable of all those things. I know he's excited. He's come with a great focus and hunger. I expect good things from him."

The front four returns four starters, but Venables said that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done better.

"I think we know what they're capable of doing, but will we do it again? We'll see,” he said. “I'm not assuming anything. We need to get better. We're capable of getting better. I'll use Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
Wilmington, DE

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. He didn't have nearly the type of year he had before. He had some injuries and just could not get in that rhythm as a player. If he's more productive, that'll enhance us. It's everybody across the board. You could go down the list with every single player. We stress to them the things they don't do so well. We don't talk a lot about the things they do well. If we get those other things corrected, we have a chance to be a good defense."

The Tigers will scrimmage Monday afternoon in Death Valley, a scrimmage that will be critical for several of the younger players, especially in the secondary.

Venables then made out a long laundry list of things he would like to see accomplished in the scrimmage.

"I'd like to see the secondary come together. I'd like to see our WILL and SAM backer establish themselves,” Venables said. “And it may not be solved yet, just like our quarterback battle. I'd like to see consistency up front. I'd like to see Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 300
Mooresboro, NC

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get back healthy, Josh Watson getting back healthy, D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-2, 335
Greensboro, NC

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improving on little things. Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-4, 260
Central, SC

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isn't a freshman anymore. Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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and Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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have to continue to improve and Vic needs to get stronger and gain the kind of size that I think will help him in his functional play. And again chemistry will come. That's developed. Same thing with leadership. Just because you are a senior, that doesn't make you a leader. You have to earn that right. You have to work for it."


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Subject (Replies: 39) Author
spacer New Story: Venables likes what he sees in Mackensie Alexander
TigerNet News
spacer I love the attitude of this coaching staff
BentZero
spacer Alexander and Baker are the future at corner
Purple_Panther
spacer Hopefully.....the "near future"***
Prime T. Tiger
spacer Re: Hopefully.....the "near future"***
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Hopefully.....the "near future"***
jerseytiger1980
spacer Re: Hopefully.....the "near future"***
deleted
spacer Re: Hopefully.....the "near future"***
allabouteleven
spacer Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
Chuckston T-Man
spacer Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
BentZero
spacer Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
deleted
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
deleted
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
jerseytiger1980
spacer Blanks will return to Nickel and will really shine again
tigeron®
spacer Alexander
Tiger001
spacer Re: Blanks will return to Nickel and will really shine again
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Blanks will return to Nickel and will really shine again
deleted
spacer Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
Orange Lightning
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
deleted
spacer Yeah, I think you're flying off the handle a little bit...
Tall_Tiger_Two
spacer Re: Re: Re: Look for Smith and Kearse to become fearsome hitters this
deleted
spacer I think our secondary will be just fine
Bleedorange09
spacer Can't wait to see
WeToDeep®
spacer Nice to see
Lilnaitch
spacer Re: Nice to see
deleted
spacer Re: Re: Nice to see
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: Nice to see
deleted
spacer Re: Re: Re: Nice to see
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: Re: Nice to see
jerseytiger1980
spacer You come to this forum just to pick fights?
NortherTiger
spacer Re: You come to this forum just to pick fights?
deleted
spacer Re: You come to this forum just to pick fights?
jerseytiger1980
spacer Re: Re: You come to this forum just to pick fights?
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: You come to this forum just to pick fights?
allabouteleven
spacer Re: Re: You come to this forum just to pick fights?
deleted
spacer It's not directed at every person
Lilnaitch
spacer I think if I wanted an honest opinion of someone
Purple_Panther
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