College: Penn State
Birthday: November 15, 1979
Strengths: Does size really matter? Jimmy Kennedy is about to find out.
After playing big last year (real big: his weight was as high as 350 pounds), Kennedy worked hard this offseason to improve his conditioning, shed weight and add muscle. It worked. Teammates had trouble recognizing the trim and fit Kennedy when he reported for spring drills. But the jury’s still out on whether or not that’s a good thing.
In his first three years at State College, Kennedy overpowered his opponents, even when they tried to double team him, and was a fixture in their backfields. He was tough to contain because he was so big and strong, moved well along the line of scrimmage and had a devastatingly quick explosion off the ball.
An intense competitor, Kennedy may be the Nitnay Lions’ best defensive line prospect since Courtney Brown.
Areas for Concern: When Kennedy first reported to school as a freshman, he weighed nearly 400 pounds. To his credit, he’s steadily lost weight through dieting and intense workouts, but it’s still a bit of a concern.
And last year, Kennedy wasn’t nearly as effective as he had been as a sophomore, or even as a freshman. He was good, but not great; his technique suffered, which is one of the reasons he returned for his senior season. He’ll need a great year to go in the first round; an eye-opening year to jump into the top 10.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? It’s tough to teach size, and Kennedy has lots to spare. He’s an imposing figure, even after the weight loss, and has been a playmaking force at Penn State, showing a willingness to do what he has to do to improve.
And he’s a good kid, too, one of those "do as I do" kind of leaders who teammates look up to. He’s had a rocky past, but he’s learned from it. He graduated this past May and has a fiancée, which means his focus now is on becoming the best defensive tackle in the country. On paper, he has that kind of potential, and the Texans will likely be keeping an eye on him in 2002.
(profile written by Ric Sweeney)
Jimmy Kennedy’s 2001 Stats G TCK TFL SKS FF FR 11 51 8 1.5 2 0 Jimmy Kennedy Return to The War Room
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