Oklahoma quarterback Austin Kendall will add his name to the NCAA transfer portal, as first reported by the Tulsa World Friday afternoon.
The decision is a curious one to say the least as the will-be redshirt junior appeared to have the inside track to the starting quarterback job at Oklahoma in 2019 (and was already on the board as one of the 10 favorites to win the Heisman, according to Las Vegas).
So why would Kendall, who has known head coach Lincoln Riley since he was 14 years old and supposedly battled reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray down to the wire for the starting job last summer, decide to take his services elsewhere for the 2019 season? There are a ton of questions and few answers, but here are some educated guesses as to what that surprise decision meant for the OU quarterback situation.
Kyler Murray is coming back
Let’s get this one out of the way first. It still seems unlikely to us. Forget the baseball money for a second.
Many NFL teams have said Murray would be a first-round pick should he decide to come out for the draft, but there are a couple of other small hints that this could be the direction the would-be senior quarterback would go.
With just three days left until the NFL draft deadline Murray has remained radio silent on Twitter. Other than a few of retweets involving awards for himself and his teammates his last activity was on Dec. 19, when he sent a shoutout to Tua Tagovailoa during the Heisman ceremony week.
That’s what Gil Brandt, the former NFL executive and friend of both Lincoln Riley and Bob Stoops said as well on Friday.
Should Murray hold off for a year on the NFL he could easily return to Oklahoma to play his senior season after his obligations with the A’s were done, much like Russell Wilson did several years back for Wisconsin.
With only three days left until the deadline to declare, this possibility will be laid to rest one way or the other very soon.
Getting back to Kendall, the deadline to enroll late for classes at Oklahoma is next Friday, so this could simply be a precautionary measure in case Murray were to decide to return. In that case Kendall would already be in the system with an opportunity to play spring football elsewhere.
Perhaps Kendall can see read the tea leaves on Murray’s indecision and simply wants to cover all his bases.