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Georgia football winners and losers after adding Arik Gilbert, Derion Kendrick
Winner: JT Daniels
Georgia already had championship expectations even before adding Arik Gilbert from LSU and Derion Kendrick from Clemson via the transfer portal.
Those two players should both make winning a championship easier. As talented as both are though, much of the pressure to deliver said championship still falls on the shoulders of JT Daniels.
The addition of Gilbert should give Daniels another talented weapon on the perimeter. While no one can replicate what George Pickens brought to the offense, Gilbert might best be able to become a physical presence for the Georgia offense.
Daniels is going to be tasked with leading Georgia to a championship this year. Having Gilbert on offense and Kendrick on defense should make that task somewhat more plausible.
Dabo Swinney had to know that when he dismissed Kendrick from the program there was a possibility he could end up at Georgia.
Now, not only could Swinney see his former cornerback on Sept. 4 but Gilbert as well. There are still some hurdles that both players must clear — Kendrick was arrested on a gun charge back in March arrest while there is some concern about Gilbert’s academics — but Georgia brought both in with the intent of playing them.
Related: Derion Kendrick addition helps Georgia secondary, adds intrigue to Clemson game
In a game that features two of the top teams in the country, Gilbert and Kendrick are the kinds of talents that can make those game-winning plays. That is exactly why Kirby Smart brought in those two players, for games like Georgia-Clemson.
Beating Georgia now figures to be a tougher task for not just Swinney but every team on the schedule.
The loser of Georgia-Clemson won’t be eliminated from College Football Playoff contention. The winner though figures to be in a great spot come the end of the season.
Winner: Jahmile Addae
Georgia had to replace four NFL-bound defensive backs along with contributor DJ Daniel.
That’s a big ask for new defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who is taking over for Charlton Warren. The latter left to become the defensive coordinator at Indiana.
Addae and the Georgia secondary have gotten some major injections since the start of April. The Kendrick addition helps Georgia’s most immediate need at the cornerback position. With 23 career starts, Georgia should no longer need to rely too much on unproven options such as Jalen Kimber or Kelee Ringo.
Related: Arik Gilbert, Derion Kendrick latest examples Kirby Smart one step ahead of college football
Kendrick isn’t the only new face in the secondary for the Bulldogs. Tykee Smith, an All-American in his time at West Virginia, should be the starting “star” in Georgia’s defense. Brandon Turnage as well should provide depth to the group after coming over from Alabama.
At the start of Addae’s tenure, the secondary was Georgia’s biggest area of concern. Thanks to the transfer portal, that is no longer the case. That makes Addae’s job much, much easier.