In advance of Sunday’s Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, USA TODAY High School Sports is taking the temperature of two of the top quarterbacks in the game, the East squad’s Austin Kendall and the West’s Dillon Sterling-Cole. First up is Kendall, who has committed to compete for national semifinalist Oklahoma starting in fall 2016.
USA TODAY HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Tell us about the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl experience so far. Why are you excited about the game?
AUSTIN KENDALL: It’s awesome being out here with the best guys in the country. Working with some of the best players in the country. We’re going to Unviersal Studios tonight so we have a good time, but we practice hard and get ready for the game on Sunday.
USATHSS: One of the major threats on the defense you’ll be facing off against is Bryce Youngquist. Next year he’s going to be a teammate. Does that change the dynamic between the two of you at all?
AK: I haven’t really thought about it. He’ll be competing against me in practice the next four to five years, too. There is a cornerback and linebacker who are also committed to Oklahoma who are playing against me, so it’ll be good to play against them. It would be awesome to play with them, of course.
USATHSS: What are your goals for the game? What do you want to accomplish?
AK: I play fast, uptempo. I want to complete every ball and we have to put points on the board.
USATHSS: Playing in an All-American game is a unique way to end a high school career. How would you describe it to other student athletes who won’t get this opportunity?
AK: It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t take it for granted. Me and all the other quarterbacks, we’re trying to enjoy the experience and give it our all.
USATHSS: Why Oklahoma? What are your expectations for your first season and future in Norman, particularly after the announced arrival of Kyler Murray?
AK: Oklahoma is a great program overall. They’re going to win wherever they are, and I want to be in the room with great players. Kyler came in, and we’re going to be competing just like any other quarterback. I’m looking forward to it.
USATHSS: What North Carolina food will you miss most in Oklahoma next year?
AK: Probably barbecue. I’m sure I can find some in Oklahoma, but that will most missed. I get homemade from Ms. Shad.
USATHSS: What do people not know about Austin Kendall that you think they should, or would surprise them?
AK: I think I put everything out there so I don’t think there’s anything people haven’t seen. I was in the Shrine Bowl last week and put up some big numbers. I’m a leader who can take my team down the field and score.