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Quarterback Austin Kendall May Be The Key Prospect In Oklahoma's 2016 Recruiting Class

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The first Wednesday in February has once again come and gone, and with it ink cartridges and rollers are being replaced on the fax machines that sit in coaches offices, and are just now cooling off from a busy day of transmitting the future plans of prep stars across the country.

As typical for the University of Oklahoma, the Sooners put together a Top 25 recruiting class that is build on offensive and defensive speed as well as power up front in the trenches. Future stars like receiver Mykel Jones and linebacker/defensive end Mark Jackson are littered throughout OU's newest class of recruits, but it could be an early enrollee quarterback that proves to be the key in the class of 2016.

Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley has wanted Austin Kendall as his quarterback since the days he served in the same capacity at East Carolina. In April of last year he got the 6-2/210 product of Waxhaw, North Carolina to commit to be a Sooner and last week he enrolled and began his first semester at the University of Oklahoma. What was unknown at the time of Kendall's commitment was that Baker Mayfield would take the Big 12 by storm. The byproduct of Oklahoma having the 2015 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year returning to play quarterback again next season was Trevor Knight transferring to Texas A&M and Cody Thomas switching full-time to baseball. That leaves Reece Clark (Cypress, TX), Connor McGinnis (OKC, OK) and Kendall locked in a spring battle to backup Mayfield this spring.

Kendall received 13 scholarship offers and drew the attention of 24 total FBS schools. While he was largely expected to come to Norman and "adjust" for a season before entering the race to replace Mayfield in the spring of 2017, it now appears he may be thrust into the mix of what will be one of the most significant position battles of this spring, which is to back up Mayfield in the fall. The ability of Kendall to win that battle could key even bigger things in the future for this team, but the ability to adequetly back up Mayfield this fall could also be a key to Oklahoma's success this fall should Mayfield suffer another injury like the one he did in the first half against TCU last season.

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