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Former Badgers QB Austin Kafentzis will be seen on opposite sideline soon

Former Mr. Football in Utah has returned home and will see the Badgers on the schedule over the next two years as a member of the BYU Cougars.

Austin Kafentzis was one of the most talked about recruits of the Gary Andersen era. However, he arrived on campus just as Andersen took off for Oregon State and the transition to a pro-style offense wasn’t a good fit for him.

Following one semester on the University of Wisconsin campus, Kafentzis decided to transfer in hopes of playing in a more friendly offense as a quarterback. He never played a down in Camp Randall Stadium and was off to Nevada.

That will change next season, and Kafentzis could have two dates with the Badgers in his future. Such is what happens when you are a member of the BYU Cougars. Kafentzis’ long journey has taken a few more twists and according to a report in the Desert News, Kafentzis will by playing his final three years of college football at BYU.

A few weeks ago, Kafentzis was added to the Cougars roster and began taking classes at the Provo campus. He’ll get a chance to compete for the quarterback job there this fall, and that was part of the reason he wanted to go to BYU.

Kafentzis’ time at Wisconsin was clearly one of transition, and he noted he could’ve stayed at UW easily but was driven to play quarterback.

“I could have switched positions and stayed there,” Kafentzis said. “I just wanted to be a quarterback.”

That led him to transfer to Nevada, where they were famous for running a pistol offense that was based on an athletic quarterback. However, as has been the case for Kafentzis in his career, the man he was playing for was gone after one season.

Kafentzis transferred to Arizona Western Community College and played sparingly in an offense that wasn’t well-suited to his abilities. Then in January he realized that an opportunity back home in Utah could get him on the field finally.

He will walk-on at BYU and has been told he will compete at quarterback, even after finally offering up his abilities wherever the Cougars need him.

“I told him, ‘I’ll play special teams,’” Kafentzis said. “And he said, ‘You’re crazy. You’re a quarterback. That’s where you’ll compete.’ So, we’ll go from there.”

With the likes of Tanner Magnum and other quality quarterbacks on the roster, it will be an interesting competition for Kafentzis to say the least. Can his athletic ability win out over quarterbacks with stronger arms and bigger throwing ability right now?

It will be interesting to see if Kafentzis will earn the quarterback job or do what Paul Chryst and every other coach wanted him to do — play a different position.

Should either happen, it sure will be strange to see the one-time Badger prodigy in a different uniform across the field.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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