Georgia football positioned to add former Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick

Arik Gilbert-Derion Kendrick-Georgia football
Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick (1) tracks Notre Dame wide receiver Javon McKinley (88) during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

The Georgia football secondary might soon be adding another body in the form of former Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Kendrick is expected to choose the Bulldogs coming out of the NCAA transfer portal on the heels of a first-team All-ACC season in 2020.

Georgia football players report back to campus and start their voluntary offseason workouts the first week of June.

The Bulldogs open the season at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 against the Tigers in Charlotte, N.C.

Kendrick, originally from Rock Hill, S.C., was dismissed from the Tigers’ program by Dabo Swinney at the end of February before spring drills.

Kendrick, per the Rock Hill Herald, was charged with “unlawful carrying of a handgun” on March 12 after officers found him asleep in a vehicle with a gun in his lap. The weapon charge is a misdemeanor. He was also issued a citation after a small amount of marijuana was found in his possession.

There has been growing optimism the charges against Kendrick could be dropped, per sources familiar with the situation. That would clear the way for Kendrick to get a second chance at football while continuing his academic career.

Kendrick would be expected to compete for playing time at UGA immediately. The Bulldogs lost 2020 starting cornerbacks Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell in the first- and second round of the NFL draft, and 2019 starting cornerback DJ Daniel.

Georgia also added former Alabama defensive back Brandon Turnage via transfer this offseason.

Second-year cornerback Jalen Kimber and redshirt junior Ameer Speed are currently the projected starters at cornerback. Celebrated redshirt freshman Kelee Ringo, the top-rated corner in the 2020 signing class, is coming off a healthy spring after missing the fall with a torn labrum.

RELATED: UGA cornerback competition heats up with Tide corner in mix

“There is really not much to say about that except that he is not with us anymore,” Swinney said in a Zoom call on March 1 with reporters. “But also I want to say that I love DK. He is a young man that I have always loved as a football player. He has a good heart. He has a really good heart.

“He has never been a disrespectful young man or anything like that, just sometimes there just needs to be a change.”

RELATED: Fresh shade of Orange: Dabo dishes on reloaded Clemson Tigers

Kendrick was a 5-star prospect in the 2018 class and the No. 26 overall player, though he was originally rated as a wide receiver.

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