Returning Player Profile: Brandon Kennedy
Volunteer Country Staff
Player Profile: Offensive Lineman Brandon Kennedy
Jersey Number: 55
Class: Redshirt Senior
Major: Sports Psychology and Motor Behavior, earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation and sports management at Alabama
Weight: 301 ILB
Hometown: Wetumpka, Alabama
High School: Wetumpka High School
As A Recruit (And Transfer)
As a senior at Wetumpka High School, Brandon Kennedy was able to earn a 4-star ranking from 247Sports, which catapulted his stock as a player. 247Sports also rated Kennedy as the 19th best offensive guard (his high school position) in the country and the 10th best player in the State of Alabama.
The two major universities in his state, Alabama and Auburn, played major roles in his recruitment, and in the end, he chose to join the Crimson Tide. During his original recruitment, Kennedy earned offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Memphis, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Missouri, and others. However, Kennedy’s relationship with the Tide ended sooner than he hoped, as he entered the transfer portal after the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Ultimately, Kennedy ended up playing for a familiar face: Former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who was now the head coach at the University of Tennessee. Kennedy chose the Volunteers over the instate Auburn Tigers, and earned an immediate waiver to become eligible for Pruitt’s first season at Tennessee.
As A Vol
After earning his immediate eligibility from the NCAA, Kennedy’s experience and leadership would serve dividends for a struggling Tennessee offensive line. However, Kennedy would soon face another set back for his career, after he tore his ACL on September 5th — effectively ending his first season as a Volunteer. Although he would later earn a medical redshirt, losing one of their only experienced linemen crushed Tennessee’s hopes of having stable protection for Jarrett Guarantano.
Overcoming an injury as serious as an ACL tear was certainly a challenge for Kennedy, who had to go through months of rehab in hopes of being able to return to practice as soon as possible. After recovering from the injury, Kennedy played a full season with Tennessee’s O-line in 2019 — going through the highs and lows of the year. Through time, Kennedy and the Vols offensive line developed into one of the best squads the SEC had to offer.
Next season, the Vols will be even more impressive up front. With former No. 1 player in the country Trey Smith, 5-star sophomore duo Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright, and former 5-star Cade Mays (if he receives a transfer waiver), Tennessee could end up having a major advantage in the trenches in the SEC. Whether that transfers into monumental success in year 3 for Jeremy Pruitt is ultimately up to just how much it improves.