MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday in Cleveland with the first round.
This year’s draft will feature 259 picks over the course of seven rounds.
Wetumpka native Brandon Kennedy is hoping he will be one of those lucky 259.
“Looking back from about five or six years ago when I first got into college to now, it has been a heck of a journey, and I’m blessed to be in this position now,” said Kennedy.
What a journey it has been for offensive lineman.
He signed with Alabama out of Wetumpka High School and was a part of two national championship teams with the Tide between 2015 and 2017.
After the 2017 season, Kennedy transferred to Tennessee and played with the Vols from 2018 through 2020.
He has seen it all and pretty much done it all in the SEC.
The next step is the NFL.
“I was fortunate enough to go to Orlando and Hawaii to play in two all-star games. Within those games I was able to get in front of teams, and I was able to have meetings in person. Within those meetings we talked about everything from football to background questions to anything like that, and they really just wanted to know what kind of person I am. They like me as a player, obviously, they know that I’m smart, versatile. I played some guard at Bama, and I played center at Tennessee,” stated Kennedy.
Kennedy played six seasons of college football and faced two season ending injuries during his career.
The first in 2017 after three games for the Crimson Tide, and the second coming in 2018 at Tennessee after the Volunteers first game.
He bounced back both times.
“Life is all about how you respond to adversity. I got knocked down in 2017, figuratively, with an injury, and then in 2018 I got knocked down with an injury. So, it’s all about how you respond. What I did was I got back up,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy played 32 career games between Alabama and Tennessee.
He started 22 games at center for the Vols.
How about his work in the classroom?
Kennedy has three degrees. He received his bachelor’s degree from Alabama and two master’s degrees from Tennessee.
NFL teams definitely notice.
“They kind of want to see my IQ. How I can talk about different schemes and kind of be able to relay it to those around me because as a center I had to make I.D. points and get everybody on the same page and protections. Those are kind of the two big things they wanted to know because as a center you have to be vocal, and you have to be able to be a leader,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy in 2020.
It is referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”