With the star-making performance of Trevor Knight in last season’s AllState Sugar Bowl, Blake Bell saw the writing on the wall. If he wanted to see the field for the Oklahoma Sooners, he would have to do so at a position other than quarterback in 2014. Bell took on the challenge and made the move to tight end for the spring. As the season opener approaches, Bell has found his way to the top of the depth chart as the team’s staring tight end. So despite losing his job last season, Bell will find a way to play a major role for the Sooners in 2014.
One of the challenges that Bell would face in moving from quarterback to tight end is taking on the physical toll of blocking that tight ends are expected to handle. He answered that challenge with a great offseason in the weight room, bulking up to 260 pounds or pretty solid muscle, according to coaches. He’s also committed himself to becoming a better blocker every day, with Bob Stoops describing him as a “solid” blocker already with expectations of getting better as the season goes on.
And with the blocking part of his new position under control, Bell can be available as a valuable weapon in the offense in support of Knight. At 6-foot-6, he will be a big target in the middle of the field who understands defenses and will be where his quarterback needs him to be to move the chains and keep the offense on track. That added presence will help take some of the pressure off a very inexperienced receiving corps that will be leaning on Sterling Shepard heavily this fall.
Plus, with Bell already integrated into the offense, Oklahoma will be able to easily utilize their specialized packages for the senior, like the vaunted “Belldozer” that made him a household name as a freshman and sophomore. Stoops also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of calling a few pass plays for the former QB when he lines up under center in certain situations.
Blake Bell’s ability to put his ego aside and change positions will be a huge boost to his playing time this season and the Oklahoma offense as a whole. There’s no denying the physical talents of the big-bodied senior, and finding ways to integrate his skill set into the offense will only make the Sooners more dangerous in 2014.
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