Kennedy, a rising sophomore, was one of 200 athletes selected for the event following regional tryouts.
As a participant in the national event, Kennedy is now a part of the U.S. national team program. Based on his performance in Maryland, he could be selected to join the U.S. national team as it faces Canada in February.
“My dad was more excited about me making the team than I was,” Kennedy said.
The 6-foot-5, 330-pound Kennedy was a member of South Cobb’s freshman team last year. He participated in a two-day regional development camp at Lassiter in late April and was informed that he made the national team two weeks later.
“There were about 30 to 40 offensive linemen, and 50 to 60 defensive linemen, at the camp,” said Kennedy, who plays both guard positions for the Eagles’ offensive line. “The competition was really good.”
The National Development Games will include four teams, with rosters drafted by coaches after an evaluation practice. Each team will run a base 4-3 defensive front, with a spread offense featuring a single back. College coaches will help provide instruction.
Practices will take place July 21-25 with games set for July 26.
Kennedy believes his strength in the event will be his size.
“I know I’m bigger and stronger than most of the other guys in my grade,” he said. “When I get up there, I figure I’ll see a lot of good football players. You don’t get invited to these camps by being lucky. You have to be good.”
Kennedy has been practicing with his South Cobb teammates this summer as he prepares for preseason workouts at the end of the month. The extra practices are also getting him ready for his USA Football event.
“We do a lot of running and lifting weights,” Kennedy said. “It’s helped me stay in shape.”
Along with the practices, Kennedy will also get to live in a dorm in the Towson campus. A tour of M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, is also scheduled.
Kennedy is looking forward to the experience, and he’s eager to show to his South Cobb teammates what he learns from the event.
“I hope to leave there better than I was when I got there,” he said.