(Photo by Frank Jansky – Icon Sportswire)
Going into the 2019 season, I didn’t expect him to pick up right where Will Grier left off, but I expected him to be solid. Through the early portion of the season, it seemed as if I was correct with my analysis. However, things happened, WVU struggled, and he would lose his starting job after a 38-17 loss to Texas Tech.
After Jarret Doege struggled in the first half of the Liberty Bowl against Army, Kendall would replace him in the second half, finishing 8 for 17 with 121 passing yards and two touchdowns. His efforts would help lead WVU to a 24-21 comeback win over Army, and place them in perfect position for a solid third year of the Neal Brown era.
Any other quarterback in Kendall’s position would have bolted at first chance, but he didn’t. He remained the course, was a tremendous teammate, and for this, was given the opportunity to put his name in WVU bowl game history.
When I talk quarterbacks, Kendall won’t be in the Geno Smith, Skyler Howard, and Will Grier category for me. Neither will he be included when discussing Rasheed Marshall, Marc Bulger, and Jeff Hostetler. Instead, Kendall will be in a category of his own.
He won’t be remembered for his stats, athleticism, nor the attraction that he brought to WVU. No – instead, I will remember Austin Kendall for his best characteristic of all, being a Mountaineer.
Austin Kendall is one of my all-time favorite WVU quarterbacks, and I truly don’t care if that is a popular opinion. He deserves the recognition.