During the Spring Game, the Oklahoma Sooners showcased the quarterback depth on the roster at the quarterback position. With four scholarship QBs sitting on the roster, the coaching staff played five different players at the position back on April 8th. Shining brightly, the ever athletic Kyler Murray dazzled fans with foot speed and throwing accuracy. Throwing the only touchdown of the afternoon, Murray cemented himself in the quarterback race.
Now, electing to play in the Cape Cod League which begins June 14th, Murray will miss summer workouts. Knowing full well the two sport athlete hoped to continue to play both baseball and football, the programs agreed to share the wealth of talent found in one body. However, will it hurt Murray’s chances to take over the No. 2 QB spot in the fall?
At this current juncture, only Austin Kendall has the ability to challenge for the role. Enrolling early, the now sophomore gained quite a bit of experience in Lincoln Riley’s system. Completing 16 passes last season in two appearances, Kendall recorded two touchdowns — both coming against ULM. Categorized as a pro-style quarterback, the former 4-star recruit brings a contrasting style to that of Baker Mayfield and Murray.
Make no mistake, it’s easy to forget that Murray has just as much time in Riley’s system as Kendall. Transferring at the end of the fall semester, the former 5-star quarterback has been with the program for two years now.
Winner – Draw
If the current trend continues, dual-threat quarterbacks will continue to find a premium placed upon their abilities. That doesn’t mean players like Kendall will fade into the darkness. Rather it translates to a lack of emphasis on the capabilities a pocket passer brings to the table.
On the other side of the equation, Murray could very well be the quickest player on the current roster. Simply putting Murray under center not only changes how the defense will react but also the approach as a whole. Clearly willing to put in the time and effort, the upperhand goes to Murray here.
Winner – Murray
We all know programs across the nation value a quarterback who takes care of the ball. Unfortunately the sample size for these quarterbacks remains fairly limited. Earning three starts while in College Station, Murray attempted 121 passes. Tossing five touchdowns, the then true freshman also fell victim to seven interceptions. On paper, those are not the type of numbers that win games consistently.
In an even more limited sample size, Kendall attempted a mere 22 passes. Refusing to throw an interception, many continue to wonder what type of numbers the sophomore could put up against better competition. From what fans saw during the 2016 campaign, the Waxhax, NC native rejected the tempation to gamble with the ball in his hands. Simply going by the numbers at hand, it’s easy to favor Kendall in this category.
Winner – Kendall
With a new head coach installed at the University of Oklahoma, the backup spot will most likely remain open. Battle and competition bring out the best in athletes. It’s something the coaching staff should and will most likely tap into. At this point in time, fans will most likely have to wait until game week before we officially know to whom the No. 2 spot belongs. Then again, Oklahoma has shown time and time again they’re willing to list players with the “or” tag on the depth chart.