During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners roster, starting with Jarvis Baxter (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Marquise Overton (No. 98) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 10 – QB Austin Kendall (6-foot-1, 206 pounds)
What happened last year: Kendall was injured during his final season in high school, missed a portion of the year but still led his team to the playoffs, making a deep run. He was rated as one of the best pro-style quarterbacks in the country but has an ability to make plays with his legs.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 6. With the departure of Cody Thomas and Trevor Knight, Kendall immediately becomes the back up to Baker Mayfield – a quarterback whose playing style lends itself to a high probability of injury. Kendall will see time. It’ll be either a mop-up or injury-fueled action. Chances are Kendall makes at least one start this season but against which team is the big question.
Best-case scenario for this season: The best case for Oklahoma is different than the best case for Kendall. The Sooners would prefer that Kendall never plays before the start of the fourth quarter. Kendall’s ideal season would include enough significant snaps to prove that the Sooners are in safe hands in tow years, when Kendall will have the head start to the starting job. Good decisions will be key when Kendall is in the game no matter what. But leading Oklahoma to a victory, even if it’s just against Kansas, would relieve just about all pauses that Kendall will be fully ready when the time comes and Mayfield graduates.