Tennessee landed former Alabama OL Brandon Kennedy as a graduate transfer this offseason, and he’s already making an impact on his new team.

As the Vols try to rebound from a disastrous 2017 season, coach Jeremy Pruitt has his hands full, but it sounds like he knows he can rely on Kennedy.

Before practice on Thursday, Pruitt said it’s clear that Kennedy already has the respect of his teammates for his work ethic:

“Brandon is a really good competitor,” Pruitt said before Tennessee’s practice Thursday evening. “He strains. He knows how to strain, and he knows how to do it every play.

“A guy like him, I think he has quickly earned the respect of his teammates by the way he practices, by the way he goes about his business. And I think everybody in our program is excited that he’s here.”

Kennedy is only a redshirt junior, so he’ll be a big part of Tennessee’s offensive line for the next two seasons.

Now, the pressure will be on Kennedy to live up to the expectations of his coach and his new teammates. But, by all accounts, he’s already popular in the locker room, which is a good first step.