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  Brandon Kennedy had plenty of reasons to opt out of college football even as the Southeastern Conference prepares for its league-only season. He already has earned a master's degree in sports psychology and will graduate in December with his second in agriculture leadership. The Tennessee center didn't have to take advantage of the rare sixth year of eligibility to graduate after a torn ACL wiped out his 2018 season. Even anud a pandemic, Kennedy just wants to play. "I'm ready to play," Kennedy said Thursday. "I feel like I've worked hard for this senior year and coming back for this sixth year. I'm all in. We know the risks and the challenges, but I feel like we've been educated and they do a great job of helping us."

Kennedy was the only offensive lineman to start all 13 games last season as the Volunteers turned around a disastrous start by winning their final six games, capped by a comeback victory at the Gator Bowl for an 8-5 season. Matching those wins will be a major challenge if the SEC is able to pull off its planned 10-game schedule. The pull of football was just too much for the lineman from Wetumpka, Alabama, to pass up in a career that started at Alabama before he switched schools as a graduate transfer. "Just being able to come back, play another year, get more film on tape and also help the team be successful, I think that's what went into it," Kennedy said of his decision. "Also to be able to get another degree. I will be graduating in December...I'm excited and glad I did. I'm not looking back." - AP College Football


(DS#11 C) rSr/2021 C Brandon KennedyTennessee
News Source: AP College Football


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