As we look ahead to the 2013 campaign, the most intriguing storyline in the off-season be the quarterback race. After losing four-year starter Landry Jones to graduation, the Sooners are now looking for their next signal caller.
Blake Bell is the favorite to win the starting job in 2013.
The quarterback run game has never been a big part of the offense in the Stoops era. This year, however, it’s safe to say that fans will see it a lot more this season. One thing that all of the quarterbacks in the race have in common, is that they can all make plays with their feet.
Blake Bell: The big advantage for Bell is that unlike any of the other competitors, he does have plenty of game experience. After the coaching staff inserted the “Bell-dozer” package a year ago in the Kansas State game, he quickly became a fan-favorite. With a large, 6’6, 254 pound frame, Bell is hard to bring down in one-on-one situations. However, the big unknown with him, is if he consistently throw the ball with accuracy and precision. Reports from coaches say that he can, and that he has great arm strength, but it’s still a big unknown. Even though he has appeared in 20 games so far in his career, he was used primarily to pick up first-downs in short yardage situations. Throughout his career, Bell has only attempted 20 passes. Last season, he went 9-16 for 107 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The key for Bell is proving that he can be effective in the passing game. If he can, he’ll be the effective, dual-threat quarterback that a lot of fans have been waiting to see. Bell will be a junior and the favorite to win the starting job.
Trevor Knight: After red shirting last season, Knight lit it up in practice while running the scout-team offense. Along with Derrick Woods, he was the scout team co-offensive player of the year. Reports from both players and coaches say that he’s an incredible talent and gave the starting defense fits all year during practice. Knight does display a lot of accuracy, but what doesn’t get discussed enough, is the speed he possesses. When fans see him in person, they will be surprised to see just how fast he really is. Coming out of high school, he was a four-star recruit and the No. 8 pro-style recruit by 247Sports.The 6’1, 197 pound freshman has certainly gained a lot of buzz this season, and could very well be the next great quarterback at Oklahoma. He will be the biggest threat to Blake Bell as the starter.
The Dark horse:
Kendal Thompson- Even though he hasn’t appeared in a game yet, Thompson seems to always be getting a lot of buzz. Like his father, former Sooner Charles Thompson, he’s a very quick and elusive player that could be a huge threat in the running game. However, his skills in the passing game are a big unknown. In his senior at nearby Southmoore high school, Thompson only played in three games due to an injury. Needless to say, it’s been a while since he’s had the opportunity to prove what he can do in a game situation. The way things look now, it’s very hard to imagine that Thompson would be the starter in 2013. He will be a red-shirt sophomore.
The Possible Transfer:
'Drew Allen announced last week on his twitter page that he has been given permission to look at transferring to another school. However, he says that this does not mean he has decided to leave just yet. Allen didn’t see action in the 2012 season, but did see playing time in his freshman and sophomore seasons. In his career, he’s 18-30 for 160 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Allen is set to graduate in May so if he does elect to transfer, he would not have to sit out a year. Odds are likely that he does indeed transfer, as it’s very unlikely that he would see the field in his senior season.
Trevor Knight was highly effective while running the scout team offense this season.
The Incoming Freshman:
The lone quarterback commit in the 2013 recruiting class is four-star recruit Cody Thomas. As far as seeing the field next year in his freshman season, it isn’t likely for Thomas. What is likely, is that the upcoming MLB draft could play a big part in his future plans. He has stated many times that he is committed to being a quarterback at Oklahoma, but if a big offer comes in this year’s draft, it may be an opportunity he can’t pass up. Baseball is indeed a path he can take and could very well be his future. Thomas threw for 4,154 yards with 46 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his senior season. He was an Elite 11 finalist last summer.
The thing that will be interesting to see, is how much the scheme of the offense changes. All of the quarterbacks in the race have the ability to run, so how much the offense translates to their threat in the running game will be something that's highly speculated throughout the course of the off-season.