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Could Tennessee senior center Brandon Kennedy return to Tennessee next year?

A sixth year is possible.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Belk College Kickoff - Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Jay Anderson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tennessee center Brandon Kennedy is enjoying a career year in Knoxville. The fifth-year senior has finally put it all together, settling into a starting role for the first time in his career. Kennedy transferred in from Alabama in 2018 and started the first game against West Virginia.

However, a knee injury cost him the rest of that 2018 season.

It was the second time Kennedy had lost an entire year due to injury. With him finally hitting his stride, might Kennedy be open to pursuing another year of eligibility? He’s a least open to it, but that decision will be made later, according to Kennedy.

“Most definitely it’s in the back of my mind,” Kennedy said before Tuesday’s practice. “I know I have to focus on this season, but that is something that I’ll think about in the future once this season is over.

“I really don’t know (if I want to come back for a sixth season), to tell you honestly,” he added. “I think after the season I’ll have a better picture of what I should do.”

(Via 247Sports)

The NCAA will consider awarding a sixth season to players that have had seasons lost due to injury. The ACL injury in 2018 and a foot injury in 2017 in Tuscaloosa robbed Kennedy of playing time.

Now a senior, Kennedy has improved and turned into one of Tennessee’s key players on offense. Potentially adding him back to the roster in 2020 could mean keeping an entire starting five together up front. That would be a massive advantage for Tennessee, which has finally turned the corner on the offensive line.

The Volunteers are already welcoming back senior defensive tackle Emmit Gooden and senior receiver Brandon Johnson. If Baylen Buchanan is healthy enough to continue his football career, he could return as well.

This is a situation that you’ll want to monitor after the season ends.