It was the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for Oklahoma and things sort of fell into place for the Sooners regarding official visitors.
Perfect blend of committed prospects and top targets. And when you’re talking committed prospects, nobody stands out more than Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson four-star quarterback Austin Kendall.
Committed to OU since April, Kendall and his family have made multiple trips to OU in the last seven months. Every visit has felt like an official one, but last week’s actually was the official one.
His goal was simple? Lure other recruits to join him.
“It was awesome, just like any other trip I’ve had to Norman,” Kendall said. “I was really working on some of the guys, those recruits we’re really high on. I think we have a great shot with some of these guys, especially on signing day.”
That last sentence might stand out the most. OU fans no doubt were hoping for a nice commitment weekend. It didn’t happen. But what doesn’t happen in November could still happen the first Wednesday of February with multiple visitors from the weekend.
Kendall has been seen as the ringleader when it comes to talking with other recruits. The names have changed since the summer, but he’s still hard at work. He described his philosophy on how exactly to go about that.
“It’s just about getting to know the guys a little bit, just having fun with them and getting to know them personally,” Kendall said. “I think it’s really going to help.”
Kendall knows the quarterback of a class is seen as the guy, and he has embraced that role 100 percent. When it comes to talking with offensive targets, Kendall was quick to say it’s his job to let them know they can do all of this together.
His senior season wasn’t what he was hoping for. A back injury nagged at him for the majority of the season. It’s not a long term thing, and Kendall did return to form during the final month of the season.
Kendall’s monster junior season put him on the map, but his senior season taught him all about leadership.
“This year was about being a leader,” Kendall said. “We had some kids last year so everybody wasn’t always looking at me. This year I thought I really stepped up and gave it my all and showed the younger guys what it takes.”
The role was reversed this weekend with Cody Thomas being Kendall’s host and showing him how everything is like in Norman. Kendall said he has hung out with the group of quarterbacks so much in the last seven months that nothing stood out. He’s seen it all. He’s ready.
Kendall’s goal was to persuade some kids, and he definitely put that recruiter’s hat on and discussed where he thought things went well.
“Wide receiver Velus Jones from Alabama, we hit it off well,” Kendall said. “That’s another one I think we can get. He’s a great person. If he comes to OU, I was telling him we’ll be best buds.
“Abdul Adams, I actually never met him until the weekend. He’s from D.C., but he’s in North Carolina now. I had a good time with him.
“On defense, I really like and think we have a good shot with Caleb Kelly and Chris Daniels.”
Kendall is able to zero-in on these targets because he’s also signed his financial aid agreement with the university. He has been allowed to talk with all the OU coaches and communicate more than ever before, and he said that has been a big help.
When it comes down to it, though, it’s about his relationship with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. With each visit, it gets better.
“It’s amazing,” Kendall said. “I know his wife, know his family, and it just grows time and time again. I feel like I can talk to him about anything.”
Kendall will be a mid-year enrollee for the Sooners.