South Carolina football: Derion Kendrick a transfer target for Gamecocks

South Carolina football could be an option for former five-star DB.

Shane Beamer and the South Carolina coaching staff have been hot on the recruiting trail this offseason, particularly in regards to the transfer portal. The Gamecocks added eight transfers over the winter as they look to continue to build the roster and fill in missing pieces that left during the coaching transition.

And, according to Mike Farrell at Rivals.com, Beamer and Co. may not be done quite yet.

Former five-star prospect and Palmetto State native Derion Kendrick is on the market after parting ways with the rival Clemson Tigers. Kendrick came to college as a wideout, but has since made the switch to defensive back, where he’s become an all-conference contributor.

In three seasons with the Tigers, the cornerback has tallied 63 tackles, 11 pass breakups, three interceptions, and two touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball. Kendrick earned first-team All-ACC honors last year as a junior.

Though talented, he does come with some baggage. Kendrick didn’t enter the transfer portal on his own, rather, he was dismissed from the Clemson program following a season of discipline issues. Those issues caused him to miss games, lose his starting spot, and, ultimately, be forced to find a new program for his final season of play.

The Gamecocks are in desperate need of defensive backs following the losses of Jaycee Horn, Israel Mukuamu, Jammie Robinson, John Dixon, and Shilo Sanders. Should Kendrick choose to play for South Carolina, he would come to Columbia as a day one starter for Clayton White’s defensive unit opposite returning sophomore Cam Smith. But the Gamecocks may not feel he’s worth the risk due to his number of run ins with Dabo Swinney.

Farrell touches on a few other schools that will be competing for Kendrick’s services, including Georgia, Texas, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Florida, TCU, and Minnesota. There are obviously a couple of storied programs on that list, but none can offer what the Gamecocks can; close proximity to home.

Kendrick grew up in the Rock Hill area and attended the same high school as Gamecock greats Stephon Gilmore, Jadeveon Clowney, and Devonte Holloman. Should he want to remain in the Palmetto State, South Carolina would present his best opportunity to compete at a high level for his senior year.

Here’s what Farrell had to say about the transfer, and the impact he could have at his next landing spot.

Kendrick was a five-star wide receiver out of high school, but he turned into an elite cornerback at Clemson and should be an immediate starter someplace. He has something to prove and will have a chip on his shoulder. He has the size and athleticism to be a great one and has future first-round potential. With the multiple discipline issues at Clemson he’s a bit of a wildcard, but for a national contender or local school in need of a shutdown corner he’s worth the risk.

Impact Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Kendrick was once considered the top player in the state of South Carolina, but he ultimately opted to spurn the Gamecocks for rival Clemson. Maybe Shane Beamer and the new Carolina coaching staff can get him on board this time around.