Film Review- Tommy Kennedy

Film Review- Tommy Kennedy

Lance Roffers
Similar to the piece I did on OL recruit Jakai Clark, I wanted to take a look at a full game for new grad transfer LT Tommy Kennedy. He is playing a nationally ranked FCS team in Youngstown State, who plays in the SEC of the FCS (Missouri Valley Conference). Youngstown had a 2nd-team All-Conference DT and a 3rd team All-Conference DE, so they have an above-average FCS DL. Obviously this competition isn’t Clemson, but it should give us the best glimpse we can have of Kennedy and his traits that will translate to the ACC level.

1st play is a deep shot to the opposite side of the field. Kennedy did a couple of things well; first he did a good job of using his hands to knock the initial strike of the defender off his chest and next he aligned his base to account for the counter rather than just bending and reaching. (Not pictured)

Next play he showed real intelligence with his use of leverage. It was a zone run to the right side and he took a step inside and then turned his shoulders to set his base rather than going straight at the edge defender. One thing that stands out is a real lack of strength in his punch. Gus will need to get on him in the weight room quickly. (Not pictured)

He is very confident in his slide and allows the defender to make his move rather than panicking and overextending. Defender goes for the speed rush and he easily jolts him outside and sets a clean pocket. This pass is completed to that outside receiver at the 1-yard line.
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He has pretty good length and great feet. He has the type of feet that easily stand out against this level of competition. Easily attacks and turns this defender with his quick and set base (#74). TD.
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It’s apparent on tape that he is a confident player at his level of competition. The way he is patient and allows the opponent to make a move on him requires a lot of confidence in your ability, but also he is not afraid to tell his opponent what is happening after the plays. He’s been the emotional player on this drive, for sure. He is letting the DL know that they just walked down the field on them. Will he be this confident in the ACC remains to be seen, but he sure is at this level.
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Kennedy turns this edge wide or takes him where he wants him to go on virtually every play. A well-respected OL coach told me once that the first man to get their second step down on the pass rush would be the one to win the rep most of the time and he is definitely smooth in his second step. The theory being that most everyone has a hard first step just due to the push off the ground, but having the quickness to get your base and get the second one down before the rusher takes that second long step around the edge will get you in position. He’s been well-schooled in his kick slide.
4.png


On a short quick throw he has the flexibility to cut his man down. How many times did Miami have those quick passes knocked down because the T’s didn’t get the hands down on the DE’s? (Not pictured)

Butler likes to use his quickness to get upfield and then turn to face the edge rusher from little trap blocks and quick inside gives to the RB. He’s a plus athlete at this level, but I do not seeing him being an elite athlete at the ACC level, more of a solid athlete who wins with technique and hand usage and excellent feet.

Here is the power issue that you see on film. Kennedy is getting forklifted him by a bull rush and has left his chest way too exposed here (right on 35-yard line). He lost this rep badly. #33 is a senior for Youngstown from Immokalee named Johnson Louigene (6-3, 260).
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Tried to cut his man on this rep and whiffs. #55 saves his bacon after the edge rusher comes free.
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He’s getting long-armed by #12 here. Another rep where power really gives him trouble as he rocked backwards.
7.png


One thing Canes fans will like to see is this level of recognition. He noticed the CB had tipped off that he might be blitzing and checked the OL to slide down for his man, he comes off and engulfs the CB. On this occasion he used his athleticism to close the distance on the corner rather than waiting back like you would do with a larger man. Opens up the lane for his RB to pickup the 1st down. He’s blocking #7.
8.png


Run a stunt on him and Kennedy hits the inside man and then comes out on the outside guy. A few plays later they run the same stunt and it does beat him inside and flush the QB out of the pocket. He was there to block the defender, but he didn’t have the sand in his pants to keep him out. (Not pictured)

Good set in pass pro, good length and reach to keep the defender from having any chance.
9.png

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On a 3rd down play he gets much too wide in his base and that takes away quickness and power. Hands are trying to catch up instead of being inside and in-sync with his feet. He’s beaten right here.
10.png


Which leads to this. Savvy little move where he grabs the inside arm of the rusher and gives him a small tug to give him a chance to punch with his inside arm but the defender gets a hit on the QB.
11.png


Just for reference on what it should look like when he’s on-balance and in-sync with his hands and feet.
12.png


The offense that Butler runs is pretty similar to the offense Miami runs in that they run a lot of zone-read stuff, inside and outside zone runs, trips to one side and run QB power etc. From that standpoint Kennedy shouldn’t have much trouble transitioning in (cue basic offense jokes).

Miami has run this play before and I always like the effectiveness of it. Kennedy downblocks here and erases the DT. The RG pulls around and erases the edge, the H-back pulls through and acts as a lead blocker on the SAM. Big hole to run through. I continue to be impressed with the feet of Kennedy.
13.png


While I continue to be impressed with his feet, his lack of power continues to show up as well. Here he is getting long-armed by the edge player. He’s in perfect position because of his feet, but the lack of power allows the edge to shuck him. It doesn’t impact the play so a coach would grade this as a win, but I would say that this is a loss personally.
14.png

15.png


When I wrote earlier about getting your second foot down before the defender does you generally win the rep, here is an example of what that looks like. Beautiful position, balanced, second foot down while the defender has his second foot still in the air. Hands are positioned to punch or push wide. He wins this rep easily because he is a very good technician with his slide.
16.png


His hands are not as quick as his feet. Here he allows the defender to shoot his hands on him and get into his chest. Pretty basic stack/shed where the defender stacks into his chest then rips his arms down to knock the OL hands down and create separation. Kennedy bends and the defender has a step on the edge. LT is able to re-set his anchor because of his feet being excellent and he pushes him away and wins the rep. QB gets pass away and it’s a PI. Keep in mind that Butler trusts him enough that he hasn’t received help on a single snap yet.
17.png


I’ll watch the rest, but at this point I have a pretty good grasp of who this player is. Power gives him trouble repeatedly, speed he can handle well. Here he allows the edge to get into his chest (really his face) and he forklifts him.
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The initial jolt causes his knee to buckle and he goes down hard and is hurt.
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I found it interesting that the player that is playing the edge on that side of the field must be a powerful player because Kennedy was out for two plays and the edge knocked the backup LT on his rear end on the first play and then forklifted him into the backfield on the next play. Obviously Kennedy will face powerful players in the ACC, but that caught my eye.

Comes out on the LB on a QB draw and I like how he finished the play. The QB is on the ground at the front, but the whistle hasn’t blown so he’s still bullying #7 a full five yards away and driving him still. Even has a little nasty with an elbow at the end for good measure.
20.png


He is obviously hobbled in this game after hurting his knee. Tries to get to the second level and misses a LB who comes off and makes the tackle.

A few plays later and it might be time to get Kennedy out of there. He lets the edge defender get into his body and he has no base with his injury. Goes right onto his back (turtled). Give him credit for his toughness for wanting to get back out there, but he’s not playing at the same level.
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And, as expected, that was his last play of the game. #71 has taken over at LT now.

Pass Protection
Kennedy has a few things that are essential to be a LT at the P5 level; Outstanding feet, length, and intelligence.

His ability to sync his feet and his hands together in pass protection will make him above-average in this regard if he can gain some strength. He easily identifies stunts and has the flexibility and movement to recover and push the stunter either inside or wide.

When he lets his base get off-balance or he exposes his chest he is susceptible to power moves such as bull rushes and long-arms. This is a major area of concern based on highlights and watching this full game.

Run Game
Kennedy is not a people mover and will excel much more when asked to run zone concepts rather than gap concepts. He is a position blocker in the running game and does a good job of hitting moving targets and redirecting at the second level. He could be a weapon on outside zone runs and in the screen game with his movement skills.

Overall
Kennedy will most likely settle in as the 4th or 5th best LT in the ACC next year with his experience, great feet, and some added strength. He’s a different player than St. Louis, who struggled with the things that Kennedy does well (movement skills, understanding stunts, getting to the second level). While St. Louis was better at the things that Kennedy struggles with (handling power, moving people in the run game).
 

Comments (102)

Awesome, emotion free analysis. Only seems to need increased strength, something he has 9 months to work on.

Much needed and appreciated.
 
Thanks, appreciate the hard work on these.
 
Thanks for the breakdown...I like the pickup, but the things is, why stop there? I hope that every grad transfer OL and DL in the country is aggressively pursued by UM. This kid is a no brainer take because we are struggling to find LT...BUT-- that doesn't mean he's a lock, he should be brought in to compete, ya as of now I'd predict him the starter, but what if he can't handle the step up in class? Pi$$es me off that UM has their numbers so set in stone, yet we end up with 78-81 players on schools...Bring in every DT/DE/QB/LT you can find right now up to 85!

There will be other grad transfers, it's the way the game is today...GO AFTER THEM.
 
Last edited:
Similar to the piece I did on OL recruit Jakai Clark, I wanted to take a look at a full game for new grad transfer LT Tommy Kennedy. He is playing a nationally ranked FCS team in Youngstown State, who plays in the SEC of the FCS (Missouri Valley Conference). Youngstown had a 2nd-team All-Conference DT and a 3rd team All-Conference DE, so they have an above-average FCS DL. Obviously this competition isn’t Clemson, but it should give us the best glimpse we can have of Kennedy and his traits that will translate to the ACC level.

1st play is a deep shot to the opposite side of the field. Kennedy did a couple of things well; first he did a good job of using his hands to knock the initial strike of the defender off his chest and next he aligned his base to account for the counter rather than just bending and reaching. (Not pictured)

Next play he showed real intelligence with his use of leverage. It was a zone run to the right side and he took a step inside and then turned his shoulders to set his base rather than going straight at the edge defender. One thing that stands out is a real lack of strength in his punch. Gus will need to get on him in the weight room quickly. (Not pictured)

He is very confident in his slide and allows the defender to make his move rather than panicking and overextending. Defender goes for the speed rush and he easily jolts him outside and sets a clean pocket. This pass is completed to that outside receiver at the 1-yard line.
View attachment 72329

He has pretty good length and great feet. He has the type of feet that easily stand out against this level of competition. Easily attacks and turns this defender with his quick and set base (#74). TD.
View attachment 72333

It’s apparent on tape that he is a confident player at his level of competition. The way he is patient and allows the opponent to make a move on him requires a lot of confidence in your ability, but also he is not afraid to tell his opponent what is happening after the plays. He’s been the emotional player on this drive, for sure. He is letting the DL know that they just walked down the field on them. Will he be this confident in the ACC remains to be seen, but he sure is at this level.
View attachment 72334

Kennedy turns this edge wide or takes him where he wants him to go on virtually every play. A well-respected OL coach told me once that the first man to get their second step down on the pass rush would be the one to win the rep most of the time and he is definitely smooth in his second step. The theory being that most everyone has a hard first step just due to the push off the ground, but having the quickness to get your base and get the second one down before the rusher takes that second long step around the edge will get you in position. He’s been well-schooled in his kick slide.
View attachment 72335

On a short quick throw he has the flexibility to cut his man down. How many times did Miami have those quick passes knocked down because the T’s didn’t get the hands down on the DE’s? (Not pictured)

Butler likes to use his quickness to get upfield and then turn to face the edge rusher from little trap blocks and quick inside gives to the RB. He’s a plus athlete at this level, but I do not seeing him being an elite athlete at the ACC level, more of a solid athlete who wins with technique and hand usage and excellent feet.

Here is the power issue that you see on film. Kennedy is getting forklifted him by a bull rush and has left his chest way too exposed here (right on 35-yard line). He lost this rep badly. #33 is a senior for Youngstown from Immokalee named Johnson Louigene (6-3, 260).
View attachment 72337

Tried to cut his man on this rep and whiffs. #55 saves his bacon after the edge rusher comes free.
View attachment 72338

He’s getting long-armed by #12 here. Another rep where power really gives him trouble as he rocked backwards.
View attachment 72339

One thing Canes fans will like to see is this level of recognition. He noticed the CB had tipped off that he might be blitzing and checked the OL to slide down for his man, he comes off and engulfs the CB. On this occasion he used his athleticism to close the distance on the corner rather than waiting back like you would do with a larger man. Opens up the lane for his RB to pickup the 1st down. He’s blocking #7.
View attachment 72340

Run a stunt on him and Kennedy hits the inside man and then comes out on the outside guy. A few plays later they run the same stunt and it does beat him inside and flush the QB out of the pocket. He was there to block the defender, but he didn’t have the sand in his pants to keep him out. (Not pictured)

Good set in pass pro, good length and reach to keep the defender from having any chance.
View attachment 72342
View attachment 72341

On a 3rd down play he gets much too wide in his base and that takes away quickness and power. Hands are trying to catch up instead of being inside and in-sync with his feet. He’s beaten right here.
View attachment 72343

Which leads to this. Savvy little move where he grabs the inside arm of the rusher and gives him a small tug to give him a chance to punch with his inside arm but the defender gets a hit on the QB.
View attachment 72344

Just for reference on what it should look like when he’s on-balance and in-sync with his hands and feet.
View attachment 72345

The offense that Butler runs is pretty similar to the offense Miami runs in that they run a lot of zone-read stuff, inside and outside zone runs, trips to one side and run QB power etc. From that standpoint Kennedy shouldn’t have much trouble transitioning in (cue basic offense jokes).

Miami has run this play before and I always like the effectiveness of it. Kennedy downblocks here and erases the DT. The RG pulls around and erases the edge, the H-back pulls through and acts as a lead blocker on the SAM. Big hole to run through. I continue to be impressed with the feet of Kennedy.
View attachment 72346

While I continue to be impressed with his feet, his lack of power continues to show up as well. Here he is getting long-armed by the edge player. He’s in perfect position because of his feet, but the lack of power allows the edge to shuck him. It doesn’t impact the play so a coach would grade this as a win, but I would say that this is a loss personally.
View attachment 72347
View attachment 72348

When I wrote earlier about getting your second foot down before the defender does you generally win the rep, here is an example of what that looks like. Beautiful position, balanced, second foot down while the defender has his second foot still in the air. Hands are positioned to punch or push wide. He wins this rep easily because he is a very good technician with his slide.
View attachment 72349

His hands are not as quick as his feet. Here he allows the defender to shoot his hands on him and get into his chest. Pretty basic stack/shed where the defender stacks into his chest then rips his arms down to knock the OL hands down and create separation. Kennedy bends and the defender has a step on the edge. LT is able to re-set his anchor because of his feet being excellent and he pushes him away and wins the rep. QB gets pass away and it’s a PI. Keep in mind that Butler trusts him enough that he hasn’t received help on a single snap yet.
View attachment 72350

I’ll watch the rest, but at this point I have a pretty good grasp of who this player is. Power gives him trouble repeatedly, speed he can handle well. Here he allows the edge to get into his chest (really his face) and he forklifts him.
View attachment 72351

The initial jolt causes his knee to buckle and he goes down hard and is hurt.
View attachment 72352

I found it interesting that the player that is playing the edge on that side of the field must be a powerful player because Kennedy was out for two plays and the edge knocked the backup LT on his rear end on the first play and then forklifted him into the backfield on the next play. Obviously Kennedy will face powerful players in the ACC, but that caught my eye.

Comes out on the LB on a QB draw and I like how he finished the play. The QB is on the ground at the front, but the whistle hasn’t blown so he’s still bullying #7 a full five yards away and driving him still. Even has a little nasty with an elbow at the end for good measure.
View attachment 72353

He is obviously hobbled in this game after hurting his knee. Tries to get to the second level and misses a LB who comes off and makes the tackle.

A few plays later and it might be time to get Kennedy out of there. He lets the edge defender get into his body and he has no base with his injury. Goes right onto his back (turtled). Give him credit for his toughness for wanting to get back out there, but he’s not playing at the same level.
View attachment 72354

And, as expected, that was his last play of the game. #71 has taken over at LT now.

Pass Protection
Kennedy has a few things that are essential to be a LT at the P5 level; Outstanding feet, length, and intelligence.

His ability to sync his feet and his hands together in pass protection will make him above-average in this regard if he can gain some strength. He easily identifies stunts and has the flexibility and movement to recover and push the stunter either inside or wide.

When he lets his base get off-balance or he exposes his chest he is susceptible to power moves such as bull rushes and long-arms. This is a major area of concern based on highlights and watching this full game.

Run Game
Kennedy is not a people mover and will excel much more when asked to run zone concepts rather than gap concepts. He is a position blocker in the running game and does a good job of hitting moving targets and redirecting at the second level. He could be a weapon on outside zone runs and in the screen game with his movement skills.

Overall
Kennedy will most likely settle in as the 4th or 5th best LT in the ACC next year with his experience, great feet, and some added strength. He’s a different player than St. Louis, who struggled with the things that Kennedy does well (movement skills, understanding stunts, getting to the second level). While St. Louis was better at the things that Kennedy struggles with (handling power, moving people in the run game).

If this guy is worse than St. Louis at moving people we're fucked.
 
St. Louis never seemed fully comfortable at LT. I’m excited for Kennedy. Say what you want about the rest of the class but we beat out Lincoln Riley, Gus Malzahn, and Tom Herman for a day 1 starter at LT.
 
Has he plateaued strength wise? Maybe the strength coach can get a little more out of him but perhaps he is what he is in that area.
 
If this guy is worse than St. Louis at moving people we're fucked.

At this point, i'm not too worried if he can't move people. He just needs to keep his QB clean and make sure he walls off those DEs in the run game. Many of those guys in college are not run-stuffer extraordinaires anyway. With the zone scheme heavily utilized in today's game, he just needs to keep his man occupied or wash him upfield and let the combo blocks inside create the seams.
 
Great analysis as always. He will gain some strength being in what we assume is a better S&C program but he’s not going to have the huge leap in strength that some fans think he will, unless he gets on the juice. Being a 5th year senior, his body has already matured unlike some 17-18 year old kid coming out of high school.

I think his ceiling is DJ Scaife with better technique, which would be good. However, I think his base case is Bar Milo, who if he played in the pioneer league for 4 years would have made an all conference team. If he ends being the 4th or 5th best LT in the ACC (basically St. Louis) it will be a good signing.
 
Has he plateaued strength wise? Maybe the strength coach can get a little more out of him but perhaps he is what he is in that area.
He hasn’t been in a true d1 strength program so he might see a jump. Is he an early enrolle?
 
Has he plateaued strength wise? Maybe the strength coach can get a little more out of him but perhaps he is what he is in that area.
There's many ways to break strength plateau's. Good quick feet and length no so much.
 
First, I am keeping track of the people in this thread who actually took the time to read it because you have posters who automatically assume the kid is a bum because he played at Butler. Give him a fair shake before judging.

I like a lot of things he brings to the table. I am hoping Felder can unlock some of the lacking "grown man" strength in the next 9 months. If he wants to put in the work, he should be an upgrade.

I agree with the poster who said that the stuff should be scouring the nation for grad transfers and JUCO guys. That is how desperate we are at many positions. While I liked the Asa Martin pickup it didn't seem like a big need to me with 4 legit RBs already on the roster.

We will know in the next 7 days whether need to go and get a DT too. I am interested to see what kind of impact not having Willis has against a real opponent like Wisconsin. I don't want to have to find that out against UF.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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09/26
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