Can Blake Bell Carry Oklahoma Sooners in 2013?

By Jeric Griffin


Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Remember how Tim Tebow was a change-of-pace quarterback, if you will, for the Florida Gators in his freshman season while Chris Leak led the team to a BCS National Championship? You may not have noticed, but Blake Bell has filled a similar role for the Oklahoma Sooners in the last two seasons behind Landry Jones, who is now gone. So question on everyone’s mind in Norman remains: Can Bell be “the guy”?

Well, there’s only one way to find out and Bell will get his shot to prove himself this year as a junior and likely starter. Sure, Sooners head coach Bob Stoops says there will be an open quarterback competition between Bell, Drew Allen, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson, but we all know that’s a load of horseradish.

If OU wants to contend with Oklahoma State, Texas and TCU in the Big 12 this year, the Sooners will need a big year from Bell, which means he’ll have to do more with his arm and not just his legs.

Over the past two seasons, Bell has run the ball 104 times for 372 yards, including 24 touchdowns. He was used in short-yardage situations in package similar to what Florida used with Tebow. It worked well for the Sooners, but Bell has only thrown 20 passes in his college career, completing 10 of them for 115 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. That’s not exactly comforting to Sooners fans who are hoping for another big year.

Of course, there are dozens of college football teams who enter each season with a new and often inexperienced quarterback, so Bell actually has a leg up on a lot of his competition because he’s been used so often in the special run packages. Now it’s up to him to prove he’s a quarterback and not just a special-situation fullback. We’ll see what happens.

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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