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Kendrick clears hurdle to play at UGA

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Georgia defensive back Derion Kendrick appears to have cleared the biggest remaining hurdle to suiting up against his former team in Charlotte to open the season.

Chip Towers of the AJC is reporting that charges which had been pending against Kendrick in his hometown of Rock Hill, South Carolina have now been expunged. Again per Towers, this was the result of Kendrick completing a pretrial diversion program for the misdemeanor marijuana and gun charges filed against him following an incident in which he was found asleep in his car with a handgun and a small amount of marijuana. Such pretrial diversion programs are common practice for non-violent offenders without a significant criminal history. They usually result in the relevant charges not only being dismissed, but essentially erased, so there is no record of the individual even being charged.

This is of only passing relevance to Kendrick’s status in Athens, as UGA Athletic Association policy bars student-athletes from competition if they’re facing felony charges unless cleared by a review panel. The misdemeanor charges at issue in Kendrick’s case wouldn’t be subject to this process, but their expungement certainly doesn’t hurt from a PR standpoint.

Kendrick’s presence in the UGA secondary doesn’t hurt either. The Bulldogs lost cornerbacks Eric Stokes, DJ Daniel, Tyson Campbell, and Tyrique Stevenson from the 2020 squad, and will be relying on a mix of seasoned backups and young blue chippers to fill the void. Adding Kendrick, an All-ACC selection at the position, was one of the biggest wins of the offseason for Coach Smart’s staff. If he can provide reliable play on the edge for the ‘Dawgs in 2021, especially as the staff sorts out the other pieces of their secondary, he could be one of the key ingredients in a title run. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!