Derion Kendrick sounds like he was quite the discipline problem at Clemson.
… Despite the way his time at Clemson ended, Kendrick is still thankful for the opportunity he had to play for the Tigers and Dabo Swinney.
“I give highly thanks to Dabo for just believing in me while I was there, always being on me, trying to get me better, to do better at everything, even if it was on the field, off the field,” Kendrick said. “And everybody around me just pulling for me, even if I was down, just pulling for me. You’ve gotta play with people like that. You’ve gotta play for people like that. That’s why I played with so much passion. I played with so much passion in the game because I wanted to play for them.”
Kendrick, who is a father of two, is hoping to boost his draft stock in his final season of college football.
He considered turning pro following his junior year but opted to return for one more season in hopes of earning his degree and improving his draft grade.
“The reason I came back to school was to finish, graduate, get my degree and then do whatever I wanted to do after that. It wasn’t really like, ‘Oh, go get the money right now.’ … It’s not just about football,” Kendrick said. “I’ve got a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, so that’s what I’m really doing this for. And I’ve got a family that’s behind me 100 percent.”
Total thug. Why on earth would Kirby Smart want that headache?
Sarcasm aside, here’s why:
10) Derion Kendrick, Transfer Portal
Due to his current situation, Derion Kendrick presents a difficult evaluation. He surprisingly entered the transfer portal following the conclusion of the 2020 season. Furthermore, he currently remains without a team and was caught up in off-field issues involving law enforcement during the winter.
From a purely talent-based perspective, Kendrick would comfortably be in the top five of the top cornerbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. A former wide receiver who snagged 210 receiving yards at 14 yards per catch in 2018, he transitioned to the defensive side of the ball to help the team.
The ball skills that he possessed as a receiver have helped him become a playmaker at the cornerback position. His experience of playing offense helps him to read the play. Furthermore, he demonstrated physicality both against the run and at the line of scrimmage.
Kendrick has the explosive athletic profile and playmaking ball skills to be a first-round pick. However, his projection is far from clear.
As I said the other day, essentially Kendrick is in a contract year. Play well, and he’ll dispel the doubts and collect a big payday from an NFL team. Does anyone really doubt Smart can motivate a player in that situation?