There’s a chance Brandon Kennedy returns to Rocky Top for the 2020 season.
We may be a long ways from knowing if that’s even in the plans at Tennessee but the rising senior did acknowledge that’s something that’s on the table for him during his Wednesday media availability. Kennedy missed nearly all of last season after sustaining an injury in practice after only playing in the season opener against West Virginia.
You may recall Kennedy was at the center of an offseason debate this time last year as the former Alabama lineman left Tuscaloosa as a graduate transfer but was not immediately clear to join Tennessee’s roster. The SEC had to change its graduate transfer rule in order for Kennedy to be eligibility immediately for Tennessee. That rule was changed by the league, which cleared Kennedy to leave Tuscaloosa for Knoxville.
After missing nearly the entire 2018 season, Kennedy was asked if he plans to seek a sixth year of eligibility looking ahead to the 2020 season.
“It’s a possibility, it’s up in the air. I just want to get back and do everything to help my team,” Kennedy replied.
Based on that response, it would appear Kennedy’s sole focus is on maintaining his health for an entire season — something that was an issue for him at Alabama, too — and making sure he has a strong 2019 season. If he plays well enough this season, the option to leave for the NFL is something Kennedy may not be willing to pass up.
Although last season was admittedly difficult for him, Kennedy said there were things he did off the field that he believes made him a better player heading into 2019.
“It’s tough when you think about it but you can be in the training room, you can watch extra film, get to know the scheme and all those types of things. You can use it to your advantage,” Kennedy noted.
If he can provide Tennessee with some consistency in the middle of its offensive line, even if only for one season, Kennedy’s transfer to Knoxville will be viewed as a massive success based on the team’s issues up front last season. Anything Kennedy can provide Tennessee beyond that would just be an added bonus for the program.