NORMAN — Incoming freshman Blake Bell will be given the opportunity to earn the Sooners' backup quarterback job.
"I don't want to redshirt anybody as a freshman because I believe in them playing four years," said OU coach Bob Stoops. "I believe the quality of players we're getting are not going to be here that fifth year. I believe these freshmen, even if they play a little bit, they're better next year."
For Bell to play "even a little bit," he will have to beat out current backup Drew Allen, a redshirt freshman. Early reports are Bell has a viable shot at the job. The Sooners have practiced only two days, but Stoops said Bell was impressive.
"He's a big, strong athlete," Stoops said. "He's a very bright guy, which you can see when you visit with him. He catches on quickly. You can tell the players like being with him, that he's one of the guys. He has all the personality traits to really be an exceptional player.
"Looking at him running, physically, he definitely is ahead as a freshman of anyone who has come in here that big and strong."
Bell threw for 2,752 yards his senior year at Wichita Bishop Carroll, accounting for 54 touchdowns (32 passing, 22 rushing). Having good speed for a quarterback makes him a dual threat.
"If he's your second-best guy, you get him ready," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "Three weeks from now, he might be second team. Right now, he's not. Drew Allen is."
Bell's father, Mark, and uncle, Mike, both played in the NFL. Mike was the No. 2 overall pick in 1979 and played 12 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.