Safety Jerrard Tarrant will skip his senior season at Georgia Tech and instead make himself eligible for the NFL draft. Underclassmen had until Jan. 15 to make themselves eligible.
Tarrant, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Carrollton has been a versatile player for the Yellow Jackets. Recruited as a safety, he played cornerback in 2009 before defensive coordinator Al Groh moved him back to safety for the 2010 season because he liked his play-making abilities. Tarrant intercepted five passes and made 113 tackles in 26 games. He started 18 games. He caused and recovered three fumbles in 2010 and broke up two passes.
However, it’s Tarrant’s skill as a punt-returner that may help him get selected by an NFL team. He returned two punts for touchdowns in 2009. He averaged 10 yards on 41 returns. He also returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in 2009.
Tarrant only played two years at Tech because was suspended for the 2008 season after he was charged with rape. After the charges were dropped, he was reinstated by coach Paul Johnson. Tarrant redshirted the 2007 season.
Like Claytor, Tarrant has yet to appear on ESPN’s draft board.
His decision means Tech will enter 2011 season needing four starters in the secondary. Cornerbacks Mario Butler and Dominique Reese, along with safety Mario Edwards, have used up their eligibility.
Tech has now had six players, including Tarrant and Claytor, become early entrants in the draft in the past two years: Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Morgan Burnett and Jonathan Dwyer are the others after the 2009 season. Morgan and Thomas were selected in the first round, Burnett the third and Dwyer the sixth.
– Doug Roberson, AJC