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Update: 1/16 – 6:45 p.m.
Oklahoma has reconsidered its stance on Austin Kendall’s transfer. Yahoo Sports confirmed Wednesday evening that the school will permit Kendall, a quarterback with two seasons of eligibility remaining, to be eligible to play in 2019 at West Virginia. USA Today first reported the news.
Sources told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel that Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley informed Kendall’s family that he is free to transfer without having to sit out in 2019. Kendall is expected to arrive on campus in Morgantown on Thursday.
Earlier Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that OU would not permit Kendall to be eligible at another Big 12 school in 2019.
Original story: 1/16 – 12:30 p.m.
Transferring Oklahoma QB Austin Kendall may need to cross West Virginia off his transfer list.
According to ESPN, the Sooners are preventing Kendall from being immediately eligible at West Virginia. Kendall, Oklahoma’s backup QB in 2018, is eligible immediately as a graduate transfer. He could transfer to WVU, but since there’s no rule in the Big 12 that prevents teams from stopping players from transferring within the conference, Oklahoma has put its foot down regarding Kendall playing for the Mountaineers in 2019.
Under new transfer rules, Kendall is able to talk to West Virginia coaches and is free to transfer there. Oklahoma, however, still reserves the right under NCAA rules to keep Kendall from becoming immediately eligible at West Virginia, another Big 12 school, for the 2019 season, even though Kendall has earned his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma. Kendall could still transfer to West Virginia, but he would have to sit out the upcoming season, leaving him with only one year of eligibility left.
Oklahoma’s reported decision to block Kendall from playing immediately came right as the Sooners landed a high-profile transfer QB of their own. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts announced Wednesday that he will be transferring to Oklahoma.
The ESPN article also notes that Oklahoma has previously been helped by the Big 12’s in-conference transfer rules. In 2016, the conference changed the eligibility rules for walk-ons that transfer within the conference and put the rule in effect retroactively to accommodate Baker Mayfield, who had transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma. The rule allowed Mayfield to play both the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Oklahoma. As you know, Mayfield won the Heisman in 2017 and Oklahoma made the College Football Playoff. Mayfield ended up being the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
West Virginia looking for Grier successor
West Virginia has been entertaining transfer quarterbacks this offseason as Neal Brown begins his tenure as the school’s coach. Will Grier was a senior in 2018 and the team’s backup quarterback, Jack Allison, started the Camping World Bowl loss to Syracuse.
Ohio State QB Tate Martell took a visit to Morgantown earlier in the offseason and announced Tuesday that he was heading to Miami.
Kendall spent three seasons at Oklahoma and was the backup QB for two of them. He was the No. 2 QB in 2016 to Mayfield and redshirted in 2017 after Kyler Murray became eligible to play after transferring from Texas A&M. Kendall then backed up Murray in 2018.
Another QB was allowed to grad transfer within the Big 12
Kendall wouldn’t be the first Big 12 QB to grad transfer within the conference this offseason either. Former Kansas State QB Alex Delton said Tuesday that he was heading to TCU in 2019.
Man I am so blessed for what I’ve learned through this game & how it has shaped me. I’m proud of what I’ve done but I am not done yet… Change of plans. I will be finishing my final year at TCU. Excited to get started!!! 🐸🐸🐸@TCUFootball pic.twitter.com/is55VZtZdY
— Alex Delton (@adelton005) January 16, 2019
Delton appeared in 20 games during his time at Kansas State with six starts. He was mainly the backup quarterback in 2018. He previously said he was transferring to UTEP for his final season to play for former KSU offensive coordinator Dana Dimel, but changed his mind.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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