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Who will Oklahoma’s starting quarterback in 2019 be?
Austin Kendall has been the presumptive favorite if Heisman winner Kyler Murray declares for the NFL draft. But according to the Tulsa World, Kendall is exploring a transfer away from Oklahoma.
Kendall, who has already graduated, would be eligible immediately and have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He could transfer or return to Norman.
Kendall’s departure would leave the Sooners with two scholarship quarterbacks: redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler, who isn’t scheduled to arrive on campus until this summer.
Kendall has been Oklahoma’s backup quarterback for two of the past three seasons. He was the primary backup to Baker Mayfield in 2016 before redshirting in 2017. Murray was Mayfield’s backup a year ago and assumed the starting job in 2018 with Kendall backing him up.
Murray has signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics to play baseball. But he could reportedly choose football over baseball if he declares for the draft. Murray is set to report to spring training February. He could also come back to Oklahoma for his senior season if he wanted to and a potential Kendall transfer could be a sign of that possibility.
The transfer market for QBs is crowded
Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant must be happy he transferred when he did. After losing his starting job to Trevor Lawrence four games into the season, Bryant said he was transferring and took advantage of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule that allows players to play in four games and still redshirt.
Bryant committed to Missouri in December, ahead of this rush of potential quarterback transfers. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts is looking at transferring and so is Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell. Hurts spent the 2018 season as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup and Martell was the backup to Dwayne Haskins. Martell’s possible transfer comes after Georgia QB Justin Fields transferred to Ohio State after one season with the Bulldogs.
Since Kendall is a grad transfer, he’ll likely be looking to go to a place where he can start right away if he decides to leave Oklahoma. And if he does, then the Sooners could be in the mix for any of the quarterbacks currently looking at transfer options.
OU is an appealing transfer destination if it’s open to taking a transfer QB. Coach Lincoln Riley is one of the brightest offensive minds in football and recently signed a contract extension with the school. OU’s offensive line is solid and running back Kennedy Brooks returns along with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
A transfer database primer
If you’re unaware of the origin of this transfer exploration frenzy, here’s a brief explanation: This is the first offseason with the NCAA’s reformed transfer rules. The new rules include a transfer database that includes all players looking to transfer. If a player wants to look at transferring, he tells his school and gets put into the database. Once he’s in the database, any school can contact him.
Players do not have to transfer away from their schools after they put their names in the database but schools have the right to revoke financial aid for the upcoming semester if they choose.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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