Georgia lands big transfers in Gilbert, Kendrick

Marietta tight end Arik Gilbert talks with reporters after their 17-9 win against Lowndes in the Class AAAAAAA high school football state title at Georgia State Stadium Saturday, December 14, 2019 in Atlanta. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
Marietta tight end Arik Gilbert talks with reporters after their 17-9 win against Lowndes in the Class AAAAAAA high school football state title at Georgia State Stadium Saturday, December 14, 2019 in Atlanta. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Georgia has landed key transfers in receiver Arik Gilbert and cornerback Derion Kendrick, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

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Gilbert, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Player of the Year out of Marietta High, comes from LSU. Gilbert, a 6-foot-5, 253-pounder who could be a receiver or a tight end, left LSU in December. Gilbert announced the news in an interview with 247Sports. He was a freshman last season and caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Georgia’s wide receiver group took a huge hit with the injury to star receiver George Pickens during spring practice. Another freshman from last season, tight end Darnell Washington, was a star recruit and has emerged as a receiving threat for the Bulldogs.

A five-star recruit, Gilbert was selected as the 2019 Gatorade national player of the year and as the No. 1 tight end in the 247Sports Composite (No. 5 overall). He was the star of the Marietta team that won the Class 7A state championship that season, the school’s first state title since 1967. Before that season, Gilbert was chosen to the AJC’s Super 11 team.

LSU tight end Arik Gilbert runs after catching a pass against Arkansas on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Woods, File)
LSU tight end Arik Gilbert runs after catching a pass against Arkansas on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Woods, File)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Kendrick was dismissed from Clemson in March after he was arrested on a charge of unlawful carrying of a handgun in Rock Hill, S.C. Kendrick, who will be a senior in the coming season, earned first-team all-ACC honors last season after he was chosen second-team All-ACC the season before. UGASports.com first reported the Kendrick transfer.

Kendrick arrived at Clemson as a wide receiver and made the transition to cornerback in the spring of 2019 and quickly became a starter. As a cornerback, Kendrick has recorded three interceptions, 12 pass breakups and one sack. Last season, he returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown, and in 2019, he returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown.

Georgia entered the offseason needing help at cornerback and will depend upon young players at the position even with the addition of Kendrick. Two players from last season, Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell, were early picks in this year’s NFL draft. Stokes was taken by Green Bay in the first round and Campbell by Jacksonville with the first pick of the second round.

Junior Ameer Speed and redshirt freshman Jalen Kimber came out of spring practice with the lead in the cornerback competition. Also in the mix are Kelee Ringo, a redshirt freshman coming off labrum surgery; Brandon Turnage, an offseason transfer from Alabama who was a safety for the Crimson Tide; early-enrollee freshmen Nyland Green and Lovasea Carroll (already converted from running back); and freshman Kamari Lassiter.

Georgia football players are reporting for summer classes and workouts this week.

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