It appears that Chuck Martin has found his starting quarterback. And it’s a quarterback that he knows quite well.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has confirmed the already expected news that senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix will transfer to Miami (Ohio), to play out his eligibility for Martin, his former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. That news was confirmed by John Rodenberg, Hendrix’s high school coach at Moeller.
“Andrew is going in to Miami as the projected starter. It’s a good deal for him,” Rodenberg told the Enquirer.
Hendrix has played sparingly the past three seasons in South Bend after redshirting his freshman year. After briefly pulling even with Tommy Rees in 2011, he’s served as a back-up the past two seasons, a third-stringer in 2012 and as the No. 2 quarterback this year.
Projecting how Hendrix will play next season is difficult. He’s had an up and down career in South Bend, known for his physical skills, a strong arm and powerful running style, but not necessarily looking or playing comfortably when given his opportunities.
While the comparison isn’t exactly fair, it’s hard not to think of ex-Irish quarterback Dayne Crist when projecting Hendrix’s fifth year. Crist spent his final year of eligibility with Charlie Weis at Kansas, taking over the starting job for a team coming off a two-win season, and then struggling as the Jayhawks were overwhelmed throughout a 1-11 season that opened with a win over South Dakota State. Crist completed 47 percent of his throws, with four touchdowns and nine interceptions, before sharing snaps with backup Michael Cummings.
Hendrix will be walking onto a team that was winless last season, with the Redhawks losing on average by an astounding 26 points. While he’ll be competing in the MAC not the Big 12, this is an even tougher assignment than the one given to Crist.
Hendrix will be competing with returning contributors Austin Gearing and Drew Kummer, who combined to complete 41 percent of their passes for one touchdown and three interceptions. Fellow Moeller quarterback Gus Ragland is Martin’s first quarterback commitment, though you’ve got to wonder if a redshirt is in store for him. With Martin bringing in a new offense, Hendrix will have a leg up from the start.
In all likelihood, we’ll get our first chance at seeing what Hendrix can do being the unquestioned starting quarterback. With his Notre Dame degree in hand, you’ve got to credit him for taking his shot. While it’s hardly an ideal situation, it’s a good opportunity for a recruit that many saw having elite potential to get his shot at showing what he can do.