Alabama football

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama signee Brandon Kennedy isn’t shying away from a chance to see the field early in his career with the Crimson Tide.

Asked what his first-year goals are, the four-star offensive line prospect didn’t hold back.

“I’d like to probably become a starter,” he said. “That would be one of the first-year goals I am working towards. I have to work hard and be better than the next guy.”

Kennedy sees rising sophomore Cam Robinson as someone to look up to. Robinson was an early enrollee last year, just as Kennedy is this year. Robinson ended up starting every game at left tackle for the Tide in 2014.

“I just know if I come in here and work hard, maybe that can happen to me,” he said. “I just wanted to get here and get started working as fast as possible.”

Kennedy is in a good position to earn early playing time. Alabama has to replace three starters as guard Arie Kouandjio, tackle Austin Shepherd and guard/tackle Leon Brown have moved on.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound behemoth played at Wetumpka, where his play earned him a spot in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.

Kennedy is one of five offensive linemen Alabama signed during the 2015 recruiting cycle. That group and the five linemen the Tide brought in during the 2014 cycle are expected to compete for open spots and provide quality depth this fall.

“Brandon Kennedy is very good athlete,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “He’s developed the size. We probably think he’ll be an inside player, center or guard, for us. He’s very athletic, good feet, good balance and body control. Played very well in the all-star games.”

Kennedy ranked as the No. 3 center nationally and the No. 13 player in the state of Alabama, according to Rivals.com. He checked in at No. 86 in the ESPN300 and was the No. 5 offensive guard. 247Sports listed Kennedy as the 19th best guard prospect and the 10th best player in Alabama. While he can play both guard and center, Kennedy said he prefers guard.

He picked Alabama over Auburn, Ole Miss, Clemson and others.

Kennedy was a fan of Alabama growing up, which made it a “natural decision” to select Alabama.

“It would have to be the development factor. That’s what led me here,” Kennedy said. “The guys that they put in the NFL, that was a big factor for me.”

Sports Writer Marq Burnett: On Twitter @Marq_Burnett.

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