Brophy defensive lineman Devan Kennedy committed to the University of Iowa in the fall and officially signed with the program in December.
“Overall, it felt like home,” said Kennedy. “I was born in St. Louis. It is three hours away and I felt like I was home when I was there. Everyone was accepting.”
Kennedy had not played football before transferring to Brophy. He got in the weight room and made tremendous strides during his first season.
“Iowa has a history of bringing in guys who might not have as much experience and have had trouble taking the next step,” said Kennedy. “They help you become a smart football player and gain physicality as well. They value graduation and being a great student. They want to you get a good education.”
Kennedy’s breakthrough drew the attention of college scouts. He also had offers from Oregon St, UTEP, Bowling Green, Nevada, Fordham, Idaho, and Penn State.
During his senior season, Kennedy was a Central Region second-team selection for the Broncos. He recorded 49 tackles (39 solo) on the season with 8.5 tackles for loss including 4.5 sacks with a team-best 18 hurries during the run to the AIA 6A Conference semifinals and a 10-win season.
“Devan’s transformation on and off the field over the last year and a half is unbelievable,” said Head Coach Jason Jewell. “I don’t think in all my years of coaching I have seen a kid progress like Devan has. From 190 pounds and never getting in a three-point stance to 250 pounds and signing with Iowa, it’s just an incredible story. And he has so much more room to grow. I can’t wait to see him continue on his football journey.”
Kennedy was inspired by the possibility of his end goal.
“It was just the goal of success,” said Kennedy. “I have had the aspiration to go to college. I wanted to achieve the goal of going to college and playing football in college. The more expensive it gets, the more opportunities in sports help achieve both goals.”
He had a great role model in his father, Jimmy, who was on the staff this season. The elder Kennedy was drafted by the St. Louis Rams 12th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft after playing college football at Penn State. Kennedy played for the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants (Super Bowl XLVI in 2011).
“It has been really helpful,” said Devan. “He knows the trajectory that I have. He knows what it is like at each level and the jumps from high school to college and college to the professional ranks. He knows how to help me get through and navigate the process.”
Kennedy will participate in the Brophy Football Signing Day Celebration on February 8 at 7:15 p.m. in the Robson Gymnasium.