5-star cornerback MacKensie Alexander is one of the more sought after defensive backs in the nation for the class of 2013, and he's got some very big names on his interest list.
According to 247Sports, Notre Dame is on top of his list with the highest interest, but notable programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State and Nebraska are not that far behind with "warm" interests as well.
Alexander is a very talented player, and he'll be one of the bigger names on whichever recruiting classes he ends up with.
Here's a scouting report on Alexander as well as my prediction as to where he will commit.
Alexander is easily one of the most physical corners I've scouted in the 2013 class, but let's focus first on his ability in coverage.
He has a good low stance, quick feet and good flexibility. He can stay in his backpedal on the short routes, flip his hips and run with the receiver on deep routes, and he's a natural ballhawk once the ball is in the air.
He displays good vision and great hands, and he's athletic and fast enough to make something happen on the run-back. He's got good size at 5'11", 175 pounds, and 247Sports has him down for running an extremely fast 4.40 40-yard dash.
Where Alexander really sets himself apart is with his physicality, though, so let's examine that a bit. He's proficient at using his hands at the line of scrimmage to either jam the defender or fight off a block. He displays very good downhill speed, and he can break out of his backpedal without taking a false step and can get to the line of scrimmage very fast.
In the next set of pictures, you'll see a great example of how physical he can be. In the play below, the quarterback is trying to get to the edge on an outside option sweep. Alexander immediately engages the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Notice how he keeps his outside arm free to keep edge contain.
The receiver does a great job of blocking him inside, but Alexander is able to use a great spin move to free his shoulder up, which allows him to then set the edge against the run. The green line indicates his area of responsibility as a run defender.
In this last picture, you can see him making a nice tackle that prevented the quarterback from getting the edge and gaining a big chunk of yards.
Alexander's ability to play strong at the line of scrimmage is what really sets him apart from other corners in the class of 2013
Right now, 247Sports has Notre Dame in the lead for Alexander, and I don't see that changing much. He's been high on their radar for a while now, and frankly, the Irish may provide him with the best options.
Kelly can offer Alexander a prominent role on his 2013 class and the opportunity to see the field very early at Notre Dame, as the secondary needs some immediate assistance in the next year or two.
While Alabama may seem like the best option due to the strength of their defense and national championship pedigree, one would be naïve to not acknowledge how strong Notre Dame's front seven play has been this season, and it will only improve.
No disrespect to Clemson, Michigan State or Nebraska, but this will probably come down to the two teams with the best chances to win it all.
Kelly is building a national championship contender as well up at South Bend, and if the opportunity for early playing time is available, that makes the decision to choose Notre Dame over Alabama much easier.
In the end, that's the decision I see Alexander making.