Former Oklahoma and West Virginia QB Austin Kendall Should Hope His 3rd School Is the Charm

For the third time in his college football career, Austin Kendall is using the transfer portal to his advantage.

After two seasons at West Virginia University, Kendall — a former top quarterback prospect — is on the move once again. But this time, he isn’t staying at the Power 5 level.

Austin Kendall will reportedly transfer to Louisiana Tech

Former West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall is headed to Louisiana Tech.
Former Oklahoma and West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall is headed to Louisiana Tech | Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For his sixth season of college football, Kendall is going from West Virginia to Louisiana. However, Ed Orgeron won’t be the one giving him orders this fall.

247 Sports confirmed Kendall, a former four-star recruit, will enroll at Louisiana Tech for the 2021 season. Louisiana Tech’s football program, which is perhaps best known for sending Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw to the NFL, went 5-5 in the pandemic-affected 2020 campaign.

As of publication, neither Kendall nor the Bulldogs had confirmed the transfer. As a backup in 2020, Kendall completed 11 of 23 passes at WVU for 164 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. 

Jarret Doege, himself a transfer from Bowling Green, spent most of the season as the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback and completed 63.9% of his passes for 2,587 yards, 14 touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Kendall began his career at Oklahoma before he transferred to WVU after the 2018 season. While with the Sooners, he served as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray’s backup.

Kendall has played well when given chances in college

The idea that a Power 5 player will immediately thrive upon transferring to a lower level has been disproved. Plenty of ex-Alabama and Ohio State players — including Duron Carter, the son of NFL legend Cris Carter — haven’t played or made a significant impact at their following, whether it’s a mid-major or an FCS program.

Kendall can break that trend by building off the flashes he showed in 2019. He started nine games that year and completed 62% of his passes for 1,989 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Considering he’d only thrown 39 pass attempts in his time at Oklahoma, those weren’t ugly numbers for a relatively inexperienced quarterback.

Louisiana Tech should hope Kendall is ready to bounce back after barely playing in 2020. The Bulldogs have reached a bowl game every year since 2014 and are consistently a threat to win Conference USA’s East Division.

Luke Anthony, the reigning C-USA Newcomer of the Year, threw for 16 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2020.

Conference USA is the new home for former Power 5 quarterbacks

Kendall won’t be the only quarterback with Power 5 experience who could potentially start at a Conference USA school in 2021.

With the transfer portal active as ever, numerous signal-callers have dropped down a level in recent months. Some of the notable names and moves include:

  • Miami’s N’Kosi Perry and Penn State’s Michael Johnson Jr. each transferred to Florida Atlantic University.
  • NC State’s Bailey Hockman, who now plays for Middle Tennessee State.
  • Nebraska’s Luke McCaffrey, who is now at Rice.
  • North Carolina’s Jace Ruder transferred from North Carolina to North Texas.
  • Texas A&M’s James Foster enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Louisiana Tech begins its 2021 football season on Saturday, September 4, against Mike Leach and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs open C-USA play on September 25 against Ruder and the Mean Green. If Kendall has any hopes of ever playing in the NFL, he should hope he can take advantage of what may be his final season at the college level.

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