There’s a notion floating around sports media that the Oklahoma Sooners are in the middle of an intense quarterback competition this spring that could carry over into pre-season practices in the fall. There’s also plenty of talk about whether there is any reality to this competition, or, if it’s just another mass-generated storyline to keep beat writers occupied as things get slow this summer.
In reality, it’s probably a combination of both.
Blake “Belldozer” Bell is the likely candidate to take over for Landry Jones given his game experience, apparent leadership qualities, and overall athletic ability which will allow him to be successful in the run game first and foremost, and able enough to throw to keep teams honest.
The other two competitors in the race — freshmen Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight — have both been lauded by the coaching staff this spring for their poise and confidence at this stage in their careers, but it’s difficult to imagine either would have enough to displace Bell as a starter by the time the Sooners kick off their season on August 31 against Louisiana-Monroe.
Knight has been razor sharp in the snaps he has received this spring and certainly appears to be the front-runner to be Bell’s backup should things fall into line as they appear to be destined. Not as much information is circulating about Thompson, but as a redshirt sophomore he’s now entering the third year with exposure to the Sooners’ offensive system so to suggest he wouldn’t be equally as capable to Knight to take some snaps when needed doesn’t seem reasonable.
As is always the case, Bob Stoops is hiding the more detailed elements of the competition we are being led to believe is taking place in Norman, other than admitting to its existence. It’s one of the more classic motivational tools in the books as spring practice ends and the dog days of summer begin to ensure each quarterback stays on their toes in the off-season regardless of where they actually stand in reality.
That reality is something only the Oklahoma coaching staff — and perhaps who has already been named the starter behind closed doors — knows for sure.