After the breakout performance of Trevor Knight in the AllState Sugar Bowl, it looked like the Oklahoma Sooners were going to have to face the issue of too many quarterbacks in 2014. But that problem has seemingly sorted itself out for Bob Stoops and the Sooners with junior Kendal Thompson transferring out of the program and now Blake Bell agreeing to move to tight end for his final season in Norman. While it is comes as a somewhat surprising decision for the former starting quarterback, it is ultimately the correct decision for Bell.
Bell was supposed to finally assume the starting quarterback job in 2013 after spending two years as the understudy and goal-line “Belldozer” option in the offense. But Knight supplanted Bell in fall camp before injuring himself and allowing Bell to get under center for a major chunk of the season. He struggled to consistently throw the football and move the offense after an explosive debut against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane where he threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the year completing 60 percent of his throws for 1,648 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Once Knight returned from his injury, Stoops tried to juggle the two down the stretch but Bell could not keep up and didn’t take a single snap in the Sugar Bowl win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Knight clearly distinguished himself as the No. 1 quarterback heading into 2014 and Bell needed to find some other way to find the field. Rather than choosing the transfer route like Thompson, he chose to change positions and find a new way to contribute to the Sooners in his senior season.
While Bell struggled to become a great quarterback for the Sooners, there’s no denying that he is a big, strong, athletic football player who can be productive with the football in his hands. Choosing to jump into a new position this spring to help Oklahoma win in 2014 in a new way is a great decision for Bell and a huge help to Stoops and the Sooners.