Knowing that he and Christian Academy of Knoxville teammate and wide receiver Josh Smith both have their college destinations figured out has made their senior seasons much more enjoyable.
"It takes off a lot of pressure, especially off me and Josh," Kendrick told InsideTennessee. "We can go out here and not worry about the pressure of recruiting. We can go out here and fly around and have fun. Then, we'll let college work out itself and it did. It did this summer. So, me and Josh are really excited about that."
"Me and Austin are definitely the closest," Kendrick said. "That's a goofy kid right there. He's a good kid; I love him. He texts me a lot. We talk. I met Dan that one time. We text a little bit, try to keep up with one another. But, I'm so excited about this recruiting class that we've got. I love every single one of them."
It's certainly possible that the trio could be joined by three-star guard Reeve Koehler of St. Louis (Hawaii) High School.
"We hope (Koehler)'s coming to Tennessee," Kendrick said. "I met him once. We message on Facebook a little bit. I've got his number. We talk every now and then. Coach (Sam) Pittman tells me about Reeve and everything."
Pittman is the first-year Tennessee offensive line coach that appears to building quite the relationship with his future student-athletes.
|Kendrick thinks highly of Tennessee offensive line coach Sam Pittman (pictured).|
"I guess he's like an uncle you didn't have, checking on us. I can go to him and tell him whatever. He'll listen to me and talk to me. I mean he'll probably call me tonight and get onto me about this game. He's just a good coach, a good guy."
InsideTennessee caught up with the FOX Sports NEXT two-star prospect and the No. 109 offensive tackle in the country moments after CAK fell in a tight contest to rival Alcoa on Thursday night at Bill Bailey Stadium.
The Warriors entered undefeated after nine games as the second-ranked team in Class 3A. Alcoa, ranked No. 1 in the same TSSAA classification, came out on top 31-28, which earned the Tornadoes the District 4-AA title.
"It changes in that we don't really have to think about being perfect anymore — being 10-0, being 15-0," Kendrick said. "We're going to try to get back at Alcoa I guess. We're just excited to be going back to the playoffs."
CAK eliminated Alcoa 38-37 in a state quarterfinal in 2011 and the pairing is turning into one of the Volunteer State's best rivalries.
Once the Warriors got past the Tornadoes, it was smooth sailing as they captured the state championship with a 49-14 victory over Milan. Kendrick weighed in on how the 2012 version is different.
"We're a little bit different. We're probably a little better on offense. I think we are a little better on offense because we had so many returning starters. Defensive-wise, we are a little bit weaker cause we lost like 8 of 11 starters. That was rough for us, but we're growing as a defensive unit."
With so many holes to fill on that side of the ball, several Warriors like Kendrick are having having to play both ways. It's a grind for the 6-foot-6, 297-pound senior.
"I mean it's pretty hard, especially on a lineman like myself. But, it's getting me in better shape and I'm fighting through it and having a blast playing defense."
Slowing down opposing defenses, Kendrick says, will be the key to adding another ring to the finger and ending his prep career in style.
"We've got to get better on defense, get stronger on defense. Our offense is going to put up points. We made a couple of key mistakes tonight but that won't happen every game. So, we've got to pick up our defense and then we're coming back for Alcoa."
CAK doesn't max out in the weightroom once the season gets underway, but Kendrick reported that his bench press was 355 with a squat of 455 in the preseason.
He was going to take his official visit during the weekend of the Missouri game but appears set on doing it Dec. 14.