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College Football Expert: Oklahoma Should Consider Not Starting Kyler Murray

Austin Kendall dropping back for a pass for Oklahoma.


Kyler Murray was taken higher than almost anyone expected in the MLB Draft. The Oakland A's grabbed the Oklahoma quarterback/center fielder with the ninth overall pick in the Draft a few days ago.

With a nearly $5 million signing bonus under his belt, that seemed like it might pull Murray away from his college football career. That is not the case, though.

Murray reached a deal to play one year with the Sooners. Most Oklahoma fans have breathed a sigh of relief with the news.

Murray is not a guarantee at quarterback, though. He looked great in filling in for Baker Mayfield last season, and had his moments at Texas A&M before transferring to Norman. Still, he has not started an entire season at the college level yet, and it sounds like he would be one-and-done as the starter for the Sooners.

For that reason, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd thinks that Austin Kendall should still get a serious look as starter, even with Kyler Murray on the team.

Oklahoma wants to contend for national titles, and if Murray gives the Sooners the best chance to do so, he should get the nod. Still, there's no guarantee that he's that far ahead of Kendall, a redshirt sophomore who sat out last season after some action in 2016.

Kendall doesn't provide Oklahoma with the upside of Murray. He's not as explosive running the football and doesn't have the same creativity with the ball, but he appears to be more equipped to follow the script. In that same spring game, Kendall looked more controlled and comfortable in the offense. He finished 11 of 18 for 134 yards and added 32 rushing yards. Remember too that Kendall served as Mayfield's backup in 2016. That season, Kendall completed 72 percent of his passes for 143 yards.

But the Kendall consideration isn't just about getting blinded by spring game stats; it's also about the long game. If Murray starts for Oklahoma this fall and heads to the baseball diamond, Oklahoma is looking at three starting quarterbacks in three years in 2019. That year will see Kendall finally get his turn or lose the job to either 2018 signee Tanner Mordecai or 2019 commit Spencer Rattler.

Murray is the more dynamic player on paper. He didn't exactly run away from the job in the spring though, and Kendall could provide some continuity for the Sooners.

I'd still probably pencil in Murray as the starter when Oklahoma takes on FAU in Week 1. It is still far too early to count out Kendall though, and that would make all of the drama surrounding the MLB Draft over the last few weeks seem pretty silly in retrospect.

[CBS Sports]