One of the nation's best cornerbacks is on the market. Clemson dismissed All-ACC cornerback Derion Kendrick on Sunday.
Kendrick's dismissal follows a season where he missed multiple games for disciplinary issues. But he was one of the Tigers' best defenders when on the field. He ended the season with six pass breakups and an interception. Kendrick earned second-team All-ACC in 2019 and first-team All-ACC in 2020.
Kendrick surprisingly chose to return for his senior year despite some first-round NFL Draft projections. He'll likely enter the transfer portal hoping to salvage his NFL prospects.
With Kendrick no longer at Clemson, will he bring his talents to Athens? Or will Georgia pass on the best available cornerback?
Case for recruiting Kendrick
Georgia lacks experience at cornerback. Three starters departed the program after the 2020 season, leaving the team without any corners that had meaningful playing time. The battle for starting jobs will involve three freshmen this spring.
A cornerback with Kendrick's experience and skill would give Georgia's defense a major boost. While he's not the shutdown corner Eric Stokes was, Kendrick is still one of the best corners in the nation. If he was a graduate transfer, Georgia's recruitment of him would be a no-brainer.
Case against recruiting Kendrick
Kendrick isn't a graduate looking to boost his NFL Draft stock. He's a dismissed player with years of discipline issues. Those problems forced him to miss games and occasionally leave the starting lineup.
That's baggage head coach Kirby Smart probably doesn't want to deal with, especially in the depleted defensive backfield. Kendrick could reform at his new school and have a year free of off-the-field issues, but is that a risk Smart is willing to take?
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