Spring Preview: Kendrick anxious to prove he can be the guy

Spring Preview: Kendrick anxious to prove he can be the guy


Spring Preview: Kendrick anxious to prove he can be the guy


The last time we saw Derion Kendrick and the Clemson cornerbacks, they were getting lit up by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. The Heisman Trophy winner threw for a national championship game record 463 yards and five touchdowns.

Not only did Burrow cost Clemson a second straight national championship, but it left a sour taste in the mouth of returning corners such as Derion Kendrick, who is anxious to prove himself again. Kendrick was the victim of several of Burrow’s passes, plus he was called for a crucial pass interference penalty near the end of the first half which led to an LSU touchdown.

Kendrick and the rest of the corners will join their Clemson teammates when spring practice begins on Wednesday. The Tigers have to replace All-ACC cornerback A.J. Terrell, who left Clemson a year early for the NFL.

With Terrell declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft, the starting cornerback spot opposite Derion Kendrick is up for grabs. Mario Goodrich and Andrew Booth were listed as Terrell’s backups on Clemson’s final depth chart entering the national championship game, while Sheridan Jones and LeAnthony Williams slotted in behind Kendrick.

In addition to Davis, the Tigers signed cornerback Malcolm Greene in the 2020 class. While Greene is expected to enroll in June, Davis is already on campus as an early enrollee and will be able to participate in spring practice.

Here is a look at what the Clemson depth chart could look like at cornerback going into spring practice. The Tigers start spring practice on Wednesday.

Derion Kendrick, Jr., 6-0, 190: Despite his performance in the LSU game, Kendrick had a very good first season at cornerback. In his first year as a starter, the former wide receiver was a second-team All-ACC selection and finished seventh on the team with 51 tackles. He had three tackles for loss, six passes broken up and had two interceptions, including a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown. The coaches believe Kendrick is a future star in the ACC and he is nowhere near reaching his ceiling.

Mario Goodrich, Jr., 6-0, 190: After Kendrick, Goodrich is the most experienced cornerback. He has played in 27 games in his career. He has recorded 20 tackles and broken up five passes. The rising junior had 13 tackles and broke up two passes while playing in 13 games last season.

Sheridan Jones, So., 6-0, 180: Jones came on last spring and finished with a big game in the Orange & White game, returning an interception for a touchdown. However, he fell behind in camp and never really got things going. He did play in 14 games and had six tackles, while breaking up one pass.

Andrew Booth, So., 6-0, 185: Booth could miss time in spring drills. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Booth had a knee cleaned up after the national championship game. He might be a little limited early, but at some point, he should be able to get back on the field. Swinney said Booth battled through the knee injury last fall, but the playing experience he got was very beneficial for his development. He played in 13 games last season, mostly on special teams, while recording six tackles and broke up one pass.

LeAnthony Williams, *Jr., 5-11, 185: Williams is an older player, but he has had very limited playing time to this point. He has played in 18 games thus far and has 10 career tackles. Last fall, he was credited with two tackles and breaking up two passes.

Fred Davis, Fr., 6-1, 185: Davis is a special athlete that shined on defense, offense and special teams for Trinity Christian Academy. He has nice size for a corner at 6-foot-1 to go with plenty of length, speed and athleticism. Davis uses those traits to excel in coverage and has great instincts and attacks the ball when it is in the air.

Gavin Oliver contributed to this story

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