They’re the most popular guys on campus. And while they’re all smiles at Meet The Sooners, there’s a heated QB battle taking place between Kyler Murray and Austin Kendall.
Kyler Murray says, “For me I come in everyday ready to work. And i don’t really pay much attention to the competition deal.”
Austin Kendall says, “I’ve been working really hard this summer. So has everybody else. Other quarterbacks and the rest of the team so it’s been going really well so far.”
Lincoln Riley says, “they’re going to compete against each other no doubt but I think they have a healthy respect for each other and what each other brings to the table.”
But even with that, the presumption is this battle is already over since Kyler Murray is coming back to play just one season before moving on to his major league career. That assumption doesn’t sit well with Kendall.
“It does motivate me. I’ve been working hard all summer. When camp starts I’m going to go out and do the same thing. So it’s just whoever goes out and executes honestly.” Says Kendall.
Murray’s nearly 5 million dollar deal with the A’s has led some to speculate he won’t sell out fully for the team to avoid injury. A notion Murray thinks is ridiculous.
Murray says, “I mean I wouldn’t be here right now if I wasn’t hungry. I think this is the most anticipated football season I’ve ever been ready for in my life.”
Murray admits the money hasn’t changed him...but it’s changed his teammates.
Murray says, “I’ve learned how taxes go now so that’s not very fun. They obviously make fun of me having money all that stuff but they make fun of it but it’s all been good. They’re shown love supporting me.”
As OU finds their next signal caller, they’re also looking for their next leader. And each candidate has a different way of approaching that.
Murray says, “I’m not coming out here being something I’m not. I lead by example.”
Kendall says, “You have to step out of your comfort zone. I’m more of a quiet guy and me stepping out has been a bit of a challenge. Throughout the spring I was able to do that. Once you do that they’re going to look up to you.”
Mayfield’s legacy is one that would be difficult for any quarterback to follow up. However, Lincoln Riley is quick to point out the Sooners success wasn’t just because of Baker, but also the guys around him. And despite the lofty expectations for the quarterback he fully expects whoever wins the job to make good use of the talent around him.
Lincoln Riley says, “Whoever wins our job, is going to have some nice advantages that a lot of other people aren’t going to have. Is it going to repeat itself, is the level of play going to be the same, I don’t know, but I expect it to be pretty damn good.”