Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
First, let's get one thing clear: I have no opinion on the rape charges that were dropped against Georgia Tech defensive back Jerrard Tarrant. If you want the background, here it is. This isn't a courtroom, it's a college football blog, so I'm going to stick to how this affects Georgia Tech's football team.
Tarrant's return will have a positive effect.
Had he not been suspended, Tarrant very well could have been the starting cornerback in 2008 instead of Jahi Word-Daniels. Now that Tarrant is back, he is a strong candidate to replace Daniels. It's not a given, though. Tarrant will have to compete with Mario Butler and Rashaad Reid, who played well last year when Word-Daniels was hurt.
Tarrant is going to be rusty -- he hasn't even put his uniform on since last spring -- but he could definitely have an immediate impact on the Jackets' defense. He's probably not an all-conference player just yet, but by the time his final three years of eligiblity are up, he could be.