The Oklahoma Sooners opened the 2013 season not really sure what it had at the quarterback position.
Blake Bell was replacing Landry Jones. The “Belldozer” was famous for his sweeps and designed run plays close to the goal line. The problem was, no one knew for sure how well Bell could throw the ball. The backup quarterbacks had never attempted a collegiate pass. Fans didn’t know what to expect. Success in the Big 12 is predicated on being able to throw the ball.
Fast forward a year, Sooners fans have to be feeling much better about the position. Trevor Knight has emerged as the man following his MVP performance versus the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Knight completed 32-of-44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. He was so impressive, Bell has moved to tight end and third-stringer Kendal Thompson transferred.
Knight has had another offseason to build on his bowl game success. Despite having only five career starts under his belt, coaches have confidence the redshirt sophomore from San Antonio is their guy. The dual-threat signal caller could even be compared to another stand out quarterback from Texas – Johnny Manziel.
Knight may not be as athletic or flashy (on and off the field) as Manziel, but he offers a similar skill set – arm strength, running ability and confidence. Both quarterbacks are 6-foot-1 and around 200 pounds. And we all saw what Manziel and Knight did to Alabama’s vaunted defense last season.
We have seen what Manziel can do in the college game. Now it’s time for Knight to shine.
Knight twice rushed for more than 100 yards in games last season. He rushed for nearly 2,000 yards his junior and senior seasons in high school. It is safe to say Knight is a competent runner. He will probably have more zone-read plays and run-options in his arsenal this season. The question mark was, can he throw the ball to win a game? The Sugar Bowl proved he can make plays with his arm if he needs to.
The Big 12 boasts two prolific passing schools – the Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders. But don’t sleep on the team from Norman. The passing game improvement is “Knight” and day from where it was to start last season.