It’s about that time again. Expectations are high. Questions abound. Yep, it’s time for Oklahoma spring football.
The Sooners, coming off an 11-2 season where they won the Big 12 championship and the Sugar Bowl, will no doubt be expected to be in the national championship and playoff hunt once again.
The calendar turns to March. The page officially turns to 2017, and although things look rosy for OU, there are still plenty of unanswered questions going forward.
What are those? That’s where Sooners Illustrated comes in. We’ll take a look at one pressing question each day leading up to OU starting spring practice March 21. The spring game is April 8.
Sooners Illustrated’s 17 questions for spring 2017
Who wins the backup quarterback position?
The quarterback spot is always going to be in the conversation. For the second spring in a row, there is no question in Norman about starting quarterback as Baker Mayfield is getting ready to enter his third season as the starter.
The question moves to the backup spot between sophomore Austin Kendall and redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray, now officially eligible after transferring from Texas A&M and sitting out the 2016 season on OU’s sidelines.
Murray will be a hot topic no matter where you see him fit. It could be quarterback in football. It could be as an outfielder in baseball. It could be as someone who is used in specialty packages and maybe even on the field with Mayfield at the same time.
Kendall made noise last year for his sound byte “basic” when describing the Ohio State defense. Kendall hasn’t addressed the media since that time. But he is someone who is capable of being a quality backup and even a look as a starter for the 2018 season.
He didn’t look out of place in the few appearances he had during the 2016 season, and the natural assumption would be a full offseason of conditioning and learning the offense even better would put Kendall in a great spot.
There’s just something about Murray, though. After a dang near legendary high school career at Allen (Texas) High and a freshman season at Texas A&M, you get why people are excited about his ability. But will it ever thrive at OU? Will he ever deserve the chance to show what he can do will be the question.
Waiting in the wings is Chris Robison, a mid-year enrollee who absolutely anchored OU’s #SoonerSquad17 to the No. 6 ranking by Scout.
Confidence has been an issue for Robison, and that trait does seem to carry through with all of OU’s quarterbacks under Lincoln Riley.
It will be about walking that fine line between arrogance and confidence, and we’ll get a good feel with Kendall and Murray following this next month’s worth of practices.