Derion Kendrick is entering the 2022 NFL Draft, the Georgia cornerback and former Clemson defender announced Saturday night.
Kendrick won a national championship with the Tigers in 2018 and the Bulldogs in 2021. He left Dabo Swinney's program last January and ended up transferring to Georgia later in the year.
In his draft announcement, not only did Kendrick show appreciation for Georgia, he also had a heartfelt message for Clemson.
"I would also like to thank Coach Swinney and the great fans of Clemson," Kendrick wrote on his Instagram account. "It was a privilege to play for you, and I will cherish every moment we had together.
"I have been so blessed two win a National Championships with two of the most prestigious programs in the country."
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Kendrick, a Rock Hill, S.C., native, came to Clemson in 2018 as a receiver. He caught 15 passes as a freshman but was moved to cornerback the following offseason after the Tigers had a need in the defensive backfield.
He earned a starting role in all 15 games in 2019, earning second-team All-ACC honors in his first season on defense after recording two interceptions. Kendrick went on to be named first-team All-ACC as a junior in 2020, even though he spent much of that season in Swinney's "love shack."
Kendrick was dismissed from the team before spring practice began in 2021. It was later reported that he was arrested on gun and drug charges. Those were later dropped, and he went from the NCAA transfer portal to Georgia.
Kendrick started all 15 games for the Bulldogs and became a big part of the best defense in college football in 2021. He helped Georgia win its first national title since 1980 with a 33-18 win over Alabama last Monday when he didn't allow a catch in the game.
Kendrick will now take his chances in the NFL. He was once projected as a first-round draft pick earlier in his career, but he might have too much to prove in the evaluation process to reach that status.
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