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Lincoln Riley: ‘Zero assumptions’ about Kyler Murray as starting QB over Austin Kendall

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no favorite in the eyes of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley when it comes to whether Kyler Murray or Austin Kendall will replace Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback for the Sooners in 2018.

It’s been widely assumed that Murray is the heir apparent to Mayfield. But on Thursday Riley made it abundantly clear there’s going to be a stiff competition for that job, instead.

“There’s zero assumptions in our building, so all that on the outside noise is what it is,” Riley said, via OU Daily. “I think Austin is just motivated to come compete… I told him the other day ‘this is why you came here all the way from North Carolina.'”

It doesn’t hurt Kendall that Murray is heavily involved in baseball right now and isn’t able to dedicate himself 100 percent to the football program at this time. Still, Riley expects Murray to be at every spring practice and the spring game while only missing one baseball game.

“The way you train baseball players and the way you train quarterbacks, there’s actually not as many differences as you would think,” Riley said. “He’s pushing through it. He’s been able to attend everything football related.”

Clearly, the competition for the starting quarterback spot is going to be wide open. Whomever takes over has some gargantuan shoes to fill, as Mayfield left the program as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play at the collegiate level.