The Oklahoma Sooners have suffered numerous transfers at the quarterback position over the past several years. Former backup, Cody Thomas elected to place his sole focus on baseball after enrolling at the University of Oklahoma as a dual sport recruit. Local product, Justice Hansen enrolled early but found himself buried on the depth chart. Looking for greener pastures, the 4-star recruit opted for the JUCO route. Lastly, Trevor Knight earned a degree opening the possibilities for immediate playing time elsewhere. Choosing Texas A&M, the MVP of the Sugar Bowl turned over a new leaf and looks to start this upcoming season.
With all of the moves, where does that leave the Sooners before facing Houston and Ohio State in the non-conference portion of the 2016 schedule?
Of the five quarterbacks currently listed on the roster, only two have starting experience on the D-I level...Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Unfortunately, Murray who started three games for the Texas A&M Aggies, must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules and regulations leaving Mayfield as the only eligible candidate with starting experience.
While Sooner Nation expects Mayfield to retain the starting role, the focus then shifts to the backup position. Why? It's no secret that Mayfield plays with a certain level of reckless abandon in an attempt to set the tone for the rest of the team. Behind gutsy play and a will to win, the quarterback dazzled fans. However, the playmaker's greatest strength is ultimately his greatest weakness as well. If Mayfield suffers an injury like he did against TCU last season, the Sooner faithful must place trust in the backup at least for a few snaps.
All the of the eligible candidates behind the star have yet to throw a pass in a collegiate game. Yet, the most likely name emerging from the pack is none other than Austin Kendall, an early enrollee from the state of North Carolina. With plenty of snaps under his belt in practice, Kendall has built a reputation. That reputation revolves around being able to make the big plays while taking care of the ball throughout spring practices.
It may just so happen that Kendall embodies the exact components the coaching staff is looking for...a decision maker on the field who can make things happen with his arm or feet. Regardless, behind the likes of Mayfield and Kendall, the pickings appear to be slim.
Depth continues to be a concern throughout not only the spring but also the fall. Could Bob Stoops make a call to Cody Thomas if the need arises? We'll have to wait and see how things play out over the summer. Until then, Boomer Sooner!