Derion Kendrick has a different attitude that elevates everyone

Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Derion Kendrick Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Derion Kendrick Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Twelve months ago, Derion Kendrick had played his last game for Clemson. Fast forward a year, and Kendrick earned the Orange Bowl Defensive MVP and established himself as a cornerstone in this historic Georgia football defense.

That is quite a transformation for this former wide receiver who played for three years at Clemson.

With a stack of defensive talent either leaving for the NFL or via the portal, head coach Kirby Smart went to find experience via the transfer portal. Kendrick, who had converted to defensive back during his last season at Clemson, ticked all the boxes and landed in Athens in June 2021.

Little did anyone know of the impact Derion Kendrick would make on this Georgia football team.

In the 2021 season, Kendrick has 22 solo tackles and four interceptions, with two of those picks coming against Michigan — understandably, Kendrick’s worth is growing game upon game. So it is no surprise that NFL draft scouts have Kendrick penciled into a high draft round slot.

But bear in mind there was a risk in Smart taking on Kendrick. He left Clemson under a cloud and was not inundated with calls for his services. However the faith Smart had in Derion Kendrick has paid off, in handfuls.

Kendrick has been ever present in the Georgia defense this season but it is now that the Bulldogs will reap the real benefit from him. In his four years playing collegiate football, Kendrick has never missed the Playoffs. So here is a player who has been there, done it, and got the t-shirt, which will be an invaluable experience in the locker room alongside the younger players in this Georgia team.

"“Same approach, different attitude,” Kendrick said in the CFP press conference on Monday. “We should be motivated every time we step on the field regardless of what awards or whatever is going on.”"

This quote was Kendrick’s answer when asked about what Georgia had to do to beat Alabama and their mental state during Monday’s CFP Media call. Kendrick said this with a steely glare to his questioner and utter determination.

Related Story. Revenge games are a Kirby Smart speciality. light

Which underlines the attitude Kendrick brings to Athens, along with his previous National Championship ring he won at Clemson. Kendrick is a winner, and he has his sights locked on another Championship win. Alabama, watch out. Revenge is a dish best served cold.