Yesterday was a busy one here at Dawg Sports and across Bulldog Nation as a whole. Macondawg had analysis and breakdowns as the broke of a couple of big transfers. First came former Clemson DB Derion Kendrick, and not long afterwards word leaked out of Arik Gilbert’s arrival on the roster.
With news as big as this, we figured it might be worthwhile to take a quick look at some film of both players. First I did some analysis on Kendrick. His game is a bit reminiscent of former Dawg Richard LeCounte. He’s an instinctive player who will take some calculated risks when he feels there’s a chance to make a big play. Occasionally that could result in him giving up a big play, but it also is part of what makes him the type of player who can swing a game by securing a big turnover.
Kendrick is a high level cover corner, and has a lot of big game experience. At 6’0”, 190 pounds he has good size and can help out in run support when needed. A former five-star wide-receiver who was the number one overall recruit in the state of South Carolina, Kendrick is an elite athlete with good hips and fluid movement. Let’s look at a little tape of him.
If Georgia had just added Kendrick yesterday it would have significantly raised UGA’s ceiling for 2021. This being Kirby Smart’s program, the Dawgs double dipped. Gilbert is one of the most unique athletes we have seen in recent recruiting history. At 6’5” and 245 pounds, his size reads tight-end. His route running, speed and ability after the catch scream wide-receiver. The soft hands he possesses seem like they should belong to a smaller human, but they’re 100% his.
Todd Monken has coached similar talents before. First in Tampa Bay, where he helped OJ Howard have the best season of his career. Last season he started to turn Darnell Washington into a big time playmaker. I put together some clips of Monken going back to Southern Miss. In this video you will also see him scheming open Howard and Washington. What’s interesting about this? Many of these route concepts are similar to what LSU used to get Gilbert open last season. Gilbert is coming to UGA to play wide-receiver. In Tampa with Howard and last season with Gilbert, Monken has taken guys with tight-end bodies and superb athleticism and lined them up at wide-receiver.
Some have already started predicting that Gilbert’s addition will cause discord in the Georgia locker room. There’s a ton of talented pass catchers and ball carriers, but only one can touch it on every down. The refrain is predictable... “There’s no way Kirby Smart can keep all these guys happy. He’s going to blow all this talent.”
Fortunately, it’s not his job to spread the touches around. That responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Todd Monken. Just in case you’re worried that Monken won’t know what to do with a roster capable of producing multiple thousand yard receivers and multiple thousand yard backs, here’s a parting shot.
It might just be alright to dream big this offseason, Dawg fans.