Oklahoma Sooners quarterback battle to be decided this week


Jan 4, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell (10) throws a pass against the Texas A

With the first games of the college football season now less than two weeks away, the time to choose a new starting Oklahoma Sooners quarterback is running down. Luckily, Bob Stoops said that he plans to name his starter something later this week.

Stoops made the announcement when ESPN rolled into Norman on Friday, as his decision will come down to Blake Bell or Trevor Knight. Kendal Thompson was also in the running until he broke his foot on the first day of fall practice. Thompson is already back with the team but will be out of action until at least the third game of the season.

Waiting this late to name the starting Oklahoma Sooners quarterback is not anything unusual for OU, as the same thing happened with Sam Bradford.

“When we chose Sam Bradford, they knew seven days before kickoff basically,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “That worked out pretty well. Whenever the guy earns the job, that’s when we’ll name a guy.”

Blake Bell

Of course, a huge fan favorite for Sooners’ fans is Blake Bell, the 2013 backup quarterback who ran for 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons from the Belldozer formation. The problem with Blake Bell is that he has only thrown 20 passes while backing up Landry Jones during that time. Despite that, Bell was a highly recruited quarterback when he arrived on campus at OU and it was because of his arm as much as his legs.

As a senior at Bishop Carroll High School in Kansas, Bell threw for 2,752 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior with a 66.6% completion percentage while running for 839 yards. While Bob Stoops has not named his starter yet, Blake Bell is the best bet for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2013. That makes Bell’s thoughts about it refreshing.

“Even if they don’t say you’re the guy, as a quarterback and a competitor, you have to approach every day like you’re the guy,” Bell said. “I even thought that sometimes when Landry (Jones) was here. That wasn’t anything against him or anything, that’s just how every quarterback is. You go in pretty much every day thinking you’re the guy because you don’t know when you’re going to be the guy.”

Trevor Knight

While Blake Bell knows the Sooners offense well after playing a lot the last two years, Trevor Knight ran the scout offense in practice in 2012 and knows what he is doing out there as well. Before redshirting in 2012, Knight was a three-star recruit when OU brought him in.

In high school at Reagan High School in Texas, Knight threw for 2,092 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior, as well as running for 943 yards and 15 touchdowns as well. What this means is that, for the first time in many years, the Sooners will have a mobile quarterback behind center after two consecutive pocket passers (Sam Bradford, Landry Jones).

Before Kendal Thompson’s injury, Knight came into the fall as the third on the depth chart based on inexperience and age, but he played well enough to warrant consideration as the starting quarterback in practice. In high school, he was called up to the varsity team as a freshman to play with them in the playoffs. He then became the starter as a sophomore and in his senior season led his high school to a 12.2 record and a district title. Age has little to do with his talent as a quarterback.

He also has the respect of his teammates.

“He can break down defenses pretty good,” said cornerback Cortez Johnson. “He knows what kind of defense you are in just by looking at you. He’s a very smart quarterback, he has great accuracy and can run the ball. He and Blake are on the same level.”

With less than two weeks to go, it is almost time to figure out who will be the starting Oklahoma Sooners quarterback, but fans can take comfort in knowing that they have two quarterbacks qualified to lead the team if need be.

"Follow Shawn S. Lealos on Twitter @sslealos."