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Austin Kendall in quarterback battle at West Virginia

Quarterback Austin Kendall transferred from OU to West Virginia in January, clearly because Jalen Hurts was headed to Norman.

The Mountaineers are looking for a quarterback to replace Will Grier. But Kendall is not an automatic starter in Morgantown.

Kendall and Jack Allison, who transferred from Miami two years ago, are staging a quarterback derby in the Allegheny Mountains. They talked with the media this week; it was Kendall’s first public comments since transferring.

“I didn’t get to play a whole lot” at OU, Kendall said. “That’s the biggest thing why I’m here right now. I’m excited to get my chance and I’m ready to go.”

Said Allison, “I came here to start. I came here to win games. This is what I want to do. This is what I’m here to do.”

Not every Sooner quarterback who transfers for supposed greener pastures finds them.

Tommy Grady transferred from OU to Utah in 2005 but made only four starts for the Utes in two seasons. Keith Nichol transferred to Michigan State in 2008 but ended up playing receiver. Kendal Thompson also transferred to Utah, in 2014, but only twice in two years did Thompson throw more than 10 passes in a single game.

In recent times, only Trevor Knight had sustained success as an OU quarterback transfer. He went to Texas A&M in 2016 and had a solid senior season leading the Aggies.

WV MetroNews reported that Kendall was more business-like than was Allison. But Kendall offered some interesting points about his West Virginia decision.

He made two trips with the Sooners to Morgantown.

“My first game here (2016), running out into the blizzard-like conditions,” Kendall said. “It was like you make the settings on (video game) ‘NCAA Football.’ It was a good experience. The atmosphere here was awesome.”

Kendall felt a connection with new West Virginia coach Neal Brown, who recruited Kendall a few years ago as offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

“The biggest thing was my relationship with coach Brown,” Kendall said. “There was a short period where I realized I needed to get out of Oklahoma. Coach Brown had just gotten the job at West Virginia. It was an easy process with knowing the guys I trust.”

Allison has the edge on Kendall in terms of relationships, having been around two years. WV MetroNews pointed out that Kendall’s relationship with the Mountaineers was negative before January – the Sooners and Mountaineers had a memorable pregame tussle before the 2016 game.

Kendall said that “unfortunately” he didn’t participate in that shoving match but that when he joined the Mountaineers, “I looked people in the eyes, shook their hand and said, ‘I’m here to compete with you guys. You guys are brothers now, just like the guys at Oklahoma.”

Some view Kendall as the favorite to win the job, but he said, “I have to make more plays. In the Big 12, you have to put points on the board. I’m not saying we struggled (this spring), but there were ups and downs putting a new offense in. Being on the same page with receivers, route running. The offensive line, blocking. Quarterbacks, making throws, making the right reads, making the right protection calls. We’ve got to come together this fall.”

Related Photos
Oklahoma's Austin Kendall (10) hands the ball off to Oklahoma's T.J. Pledger (22) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Oklahoma won 51-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma's Austin Kendall (10) hands the ball off to Oklahoma's T.J. Pledger (22) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Oklahoma won 51-14....

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b131feabf3393147ffad8376fc9a963d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Kendall (10) hands the ball off to Oklahoma's T.J. Pledger (22) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Oklahoma won 51-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma's Austin Kendall (10) hands the ball off to Oklahoma's T.J. Pledger (22) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Oklahoma won 51-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Kendall (10) hands the ball off to Oklahoma's T.J. Pledger (22) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Oklahoma won 51-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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