It’s not often a starting cornerback for a national title contender enters the transfer portal. If you are one of the star players of a top program, why make a move? It’s a question worth asking, especially now that it’s probably going to happen.
Derion Kendrick, one of Clemson’s top defensive players, has now officially entered the portal and is no longer with the program, according to a source with Yahoo Sports. After being selected as a first-team All-ACC player, he wants a change.
Coach Dabo Swinney finally addressed the odd departure following the team’s practice on Monday.
“Really not much to say about that other than he’s not with us anymore, but also to say I love DK,” Swinney said. “He’s a young man that I’ve always loved as a football player. He’s got a really good heart. He’s never been a disrespectful young man or anything like that. Just sometimes there just needs to be a change.
“Just so thankful I had the opportunity to help him and hopefully make a difference for him these past three years. Thankful for all of his contributions to our team and our program. Will be pulling for him wherever his next stop is and always be here for him.”
Unfortunately, there isn’t much revealed here. It sounds like Swinney is on good terms with Kendrick, but is Kendrick on good terms with Swinney? It will be interesting to see what develops with this story — if anything.
The Tigers have a lot of question marks offensively. Some of their top contributors are now gone, including:
- Trevor Lawrence – star quarterback
- Travis Etienne – star running back
- Amari Rodgers – leading receiver
- Jackson Carman – top offensive lineman
The defense will be needed as the offense adjusts to a new set of contributors. Kendrick was expected to be a part of that stability on defense, but it looks like he is now gone. We just don’t know if that will be at another school or if he will enter the supplemental draft.
Still, Clemson will continue to be a contender in 2021. It just might be a tad more difficult now.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.