A familiar face will be starting Week 1 for the Clemson Tigers, but he'll be playing a new role. Derion Kendrick has spent this offseason making the switch from wide receiver to cornerback.
Kendrick had a productive freshman season at wideout, hauling in 15 receptions for 210 yards. With so much depth on offense this year, the former five-star recruit will now help on the defensive side of the football.
During the spring, Kendrick practiced at cornerback for the Tigers. He has missed time during fall camp due to an injury, and briefly stepped away from the team following loss of his former high school teammate.
Nonetheless, Kendrick is ready to go for Week 1 of the regular season.
On Thursday, head coach Dabo Swinney told TigerNet that Kendrick will get the chance to start the season opener.
Even though Derion Kendrick missed a few practices at fall camp, Swinney is confident in his ability to begin the season as one of the starting cornerbacks.
“He will be the starter. It’s his first game. It’s like I tell them, we don’t really have starters. We have beginners - somebody has to begin the season but you have to prove it every week,” Swinney said. “This is our first game, and then you get into game evaluation and grades and performances and competition. So we have a lot of guys that are going to get an opportunity to. play. But unless something changes, he will run out there first.”
Kendrick will start across from AJ Terrell at cornerback. Behind him on the depth chart will be Sheridan Jones and Mario Goodrich.
Expectations for Clemson will be pretty high this upcoming season. Colin Cowherd of FS1 has gone as far as to say this could be an "all-time great" team.
Clemson will start the season at home as it hosts Georgia Tech next Thursday.