Tennessee announces addition of former Alabama OL Brandon Kennedy via transfer

The long offseason saga of former Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy is over. Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt announced via a school release that Kennedy had officially joined the program along with former Michigan State running back Madre London

The news of Kennedy's transfer was previously reported by 247Sports. Kennedy chose Tennessee over Auburn and will enroll in UT's second summer session. 

For the Vols and first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt, Kennedy provides a boost to an offensive line that lacks depth. The 6-foot-3, 301-pounder served as a reserve at guard and center during his Alabama career and has two years of eligibility remaining.

With rising sophomore star tackle Trey Smith missing spring practice due to a medical issue and Chance Hall coming back from a knee injury, the unit lacked depth this spring and was forced to move some players around -- including a few from the defensive line to the offensive line. Kennedy's versatility will provide a boost to Pruitt's crew, which needs experience and depth to compete at a high level.

His arrival brings to conclusion an offseason that saw his former coach Nick Saban staunchly adhere to a rule that, prior to SEC spring meetings last month, prevented graduate transfers to transfer within the conference without a waiver. 

But a rule change passed in Destin at the annual legislative event for SEC's coaches, athletic directors and presidents, removed the need for a waiver, and now allows intra-SEC graduate transfers to play immediately without the blessing of the conference. 

Prior to the those spring meetings, Saban spoke out regarding the rule change.

"I don't think it should be on me," Saban said. "If we agree in the SEC at these meetings that we're going to have free agency in our league and everybody can go wherever they want to go when they graduate, that's what we should do. Then Brandon Kennedy can go wherever he wants to go. But if we don't do that, why is it on me? We have a conference rule that says … he can do it, but he has to sit out for a year. So, why is it on me? It's not even my decision. It's a conference rule."

After the rule change, it wasn't on Saban. It was on Kennedy, and he chose Rocky Top.

The legislation to remove the need for a waiver was initially proposed by Georgia last year in the wake of former Alabama safety Maurice Smith moving from Alabama to Georgia to play for then first-year coach Kirby Smart. Since then, former South Carolina running back David Williams went to Arkansas last offseason and former Texas A&M defensive back Nick Harvey went to South Carolina the year. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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