Kennard, who has started at defensive end and linebacker earlier in his career, returns after missing 2012 with an injury and figures to start at outside linebacker as a senior in 2013...He has 135 career tackles, including 13 for losses (with 4 sacks). He has 18 career starts.
Kennard, a senior 3-year starter and 2013 team captain, leads the Trojans in sacks (8) in 2013 to go along with his 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss 4 deflections and a fumble recovery. He was the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week in the first week of this season after making 4 tackles (with 2.5 for losses, including 1.5 sacks) and 2 deflections in USC's season-opening win at Hawaii.
Was slated to start at defensive end as a senior in 2012, but he tore a chest muscle just before the season started and had surgery, which sidelined him for all of 2012 and allowed him to redshirt.
Started 5 games (Utah, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon) at defensive end as a junior in 2011 and rotated into the action frequently in the other 7 games. After starting at middle linebacker in 2010, he was moved back to defensive end, his original position, following 2011 spring drills. Overall in 2011 while appearing in 12 games, he had 29 tackles, including 4 for losses (with 2 sacks, one which resulted in a safety). He missed 2011 spring practice while recuperating from a 2010 hip injury. He had 5 tackles (with a sack) against Stanford, 4 tackles against Minnesota and Arizona and 3 tackles against Syracuse and Arizona State. His sack against Washington resulted in a safety.
Kennard started USC's first 8 games at middle linebacker as a sophomore in 2010 and was an often-used backup the rest of the season. Overall in 2010 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 72 tackles, including 7 for losses (with 2 sacks), plus 1 interception and 1 deflection. After the season, he had arthroscopic surgery for torn cartilage in his hip. He had surgery on his left thumb prior to 2010 spring practice. He had 2 tackles (with a sack) at Hawaii, then 7 tackles (0.5 for a loss) against Virginia, 4 tackles at Minnesota and a game-high 8 tackles against Washington State. He had 10 tackles (1 for a loss) against Washington, 7 tackles against Stanford and 6 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection against California. He had a game-high 13 tackles (1.5 for losses) against Oregon, 4 tackles (0.5 for a loss) against Arizona State and 8 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss (with a sack), against Oregon State. He added 3 tackles and an interception (to set up a USC field goal) against Notre Dame.
Kennard began his 2009 first-year freshman season as a backup defensive end, but by midseason was seeing key action primarily in pass rushing situations (he even started there at Arizona State). He then was moved to strongside linebacker for USC's final 4 games and started those contests. Overall in 2009 while appearing in all 12 games (starting 5 times), he had 34 tackles, including 2 for losses, plus 3 deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble. He made the 2009 ESPN.com Pac-10 All-Freshman first team and Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman first team. He won USC's John McKay Award. He had 5 tackles (1.5 for a loss) against San Jose State, then 1 tackle at Ohio State and 3 tackles (0.5 for a loss) while forcing and recovering a fumble that led to a USC TD against Washington State. He added 1 tackle at Notre Dame, a deflection against Oregon State and 2 tackles at Oregon and Arizona State. He then started at strongside linebacker, getting 4 tackles against Stanford, 6 tackles and a deflection against UCLA and 8 tackles against Arizona. He had 2 tackles and a deflection against Boston College.
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 as a senior defensive end at Desert Vista High in Phoenix (Ariz.). He played in only 3 early games in 2008 before tearing knee ligaments, which sidelined him the rest of the season. As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American first team as he had 111 tackles and 24 sacks. Desert Vista played in the 2007 Arizona state 5-A championship game. As a sophomore in 2006, he made All-Region while making 81 tackles and 7 sacks.
His father, Derek, was an All-American offensive lineman at Nevada (lettering from 1981 to 1983) who then played 2 years in the USFL (1984-85 with the Los Angeles Express) and 11 seasons in the NFL (1986-90 with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, 1991-93 with the New Orleans Saints and 1994-96 with the Dallas Cowboys), including on the 1995 Cowboys' team that won the Super Bowl. His brother, Derek Jr., was a 4-year (2000-03) football letterman at Nevada.