Cavs' Kendall commits to Tennessee
Austin Kendall still has two more years of high school to complete, but he's already made a big decision about his future.
Kendall, a junior quarterback at Cuthbertson High, committed to a full scholarship with the University of Tennessee on Sunday.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander visited the school over the weekend and spent time with coaches and current players.
"About a week ago I sat down with my family and narrowed it down to Tennessee and Kentucky," said Kendall. "Tennessee's been recruiting me since my freshman year, so I have a great relationship with the entire staff. I got a chance to see how the quarterbacks coach teaches and runs meetings. I wanted to get a good feel on how I would fit in as a player there."
Kendall chose the Volunteers over offers from Kentucky, Clemson, N.C. State, Miami, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Boston College and Charlotte.
Tennessee was the third school to offer a scholarship.
"It's very relieving," said Kendall of the decision. "Ultimately I don't want another quarterback to take my spot at Tennessee. I felt right when I was there, so I decided to go ahead and commit."
The Vols are under the direction of second-year head coach Butch Jones, who previously served the same position at Cincinnati for three seasons before being hired at UT in 2012.
Jones led the Vols to a sub-par 5-7 record last season, but has the fifth-ranked recruiting class for 2014, according to ESPN.com.
"Coach Jones has brought the program up wherever he's been," said Kendall. "He's recruited a lot of guys that are getting a chance to play early and that really interests me. I know you have to compete anywhere you go in college football, but I definitely like the fact that I'll have an opportunity to play early on."
As a freshman in 2012, Kendall was 79-of-145 for 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Cavaliers. He also ran for 202 yards and a score.
Kendall transferred to Charlotte Christian for his sophomore year, when he was 111-of-181 for 1,668 yards with 20 TDs and six interceptions. He led the Knights to a 12-0 record and the NCISAA 3A state championship.
After making the move back to Cuthbertson, Kendall is focused on helping the Cavaliers secure their first winning season in school history.
"I'm back at Cuthbertson now, so I just want to help out the team and just win as many games as possible," he said. "I won a state championship at Christian and now I want to win one at Cuthbertson.
"Coach (David) Johnson is really building up the program and so many more guys are coming out for football. I love him as a coach already and I'm looking forward to the season."
Cuthbertson begins the 2014 regular season at home against Parkwood on Aug. 22.