A new SEC rule is already paying dividends for at least one player — and one program — in the conference.
Last month, Brandon Kennedy opted to leave Alabama as a graduate transfer. The offensive lineman, as it turns out, had been interested in a transfer to Alabama rivals Auburn and Tennessee; as had been the case in the past — or not — Kennedy had been barred by UA from transferring to any other school in the conference despite the fact that he’s a graduate transfer.
While the player’s initial appeal of that ruling was denied, said ruling is now immaterial as VolsQuest.com is reporting that “Kennedy has officially decided to play for the Vols.” The Rivals.com website adds that “Kennedy is expected to take part in second session or July term summer school at Tennessee and is already in Knoxville around the program.”
June 1, the SEC confirmed that it had adopted a rule which states that graduate transfers are permitted to transfer within the conference without having to sit out a year. Not only will the lineman be eligible to play immediately this season for the Vols as a result of that edict, he’ll also have another year of eligibility he can use in 2019.
Kennedy served as the Crimson’s Tide backup center in 2017, his redshirt sophomore season, before an injury sidelined for most of the year. After graduating in December, Kennedy exited spring practice this year as the defending national champion’s likely No. 2 center.
A four-star 2015 signee, Kennedy was rated as the No. 19 guard in the country and the No. 10 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, he played in six games in 2016.