NORMAN — Trevor Knight is the new face of Oklahoma football.
Which is problematic, since we've seen about as much of his face as we have his game.
But the shroud is lifted, the dark Knight rises, against Louisiana-Monroe on Aug. 31, when Knight debuts as the Sooner quarterback.
Will the Knight era last four years, ala Landry Jones'? Will the Knight era last a game, which the Paul Thompson era would have had Rhett Bomar kept his nose clean?
Can't say. But this we know from Bob Stoops' announcement Thursday that Knight has won the QB job: the mobile quarterback era has arrived in Soonerville.
After seven straight seasons of stoic statues Sam Bradford and Landry Jones, the Sooners are forging new ground. A quarterback who can make plays with his feet.
And for Stoops to pick a redshirt freshman over Blake Bell, the heir apparent and two years Knight's elder, is a clear sign that mobility now is a huge priority in OU quarterbacking.
Bell is no plodder. If Bell and Landry Jones raced around the football field, Bell might lap Landry.
But Bell's mobility is impressive only as it relates to the Sooner norm. Knight's mobility is impressive, period. That much we gleaned from our one look at Knight, in the spring game last April.
And truth is, we heard about it last December, when Knight was a scout-team phenom, mimicking Johnny Manziel.
“He throws those balls, cross-body,” OU defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland said before the Cotton Bowl. “Stuff you don't expect him to make. He's kept us on our toes.”
Of course, we've seen this coming the last few years, when the Sooners began recruiting mobile quarterbacks. First Bell, then more so with Kendal Thompson and Knight.
But any doubt was removed the last two seasons, when first Robert Griffin III, then Johnny Football, scrambled and ran and passed the Sooners ragged. RG3 won the Heisman against OU; Manziel ratified his Heisman at Sooner expense.
I asked Stoops this week how different the offense will look to us novices, regardless of who quarterbacks.
“Not much,” he said. “Not much different. You'll see a bunch of the same formations and plays. Not much at all, really.”
Sorry, but I'm calling bogus on that one. You don't hand the reins to a runaround redshirt freshman, then run Landry Jones' offense.
An OU insider said the difference between Knight and Bell is not so much the quarterbacking talents of either, but the particular quarterbacking talents of Knight as it relates to this offense. Bell's bad luck that the Sooners shifted gears just as he got to the front of the line.
Who knows how Knight's mobility will be used?
The shotgun option (some call it the zone read, a stupid name; the old wishbone belly series was a zone read)? Sprintouts? Quarterback draws?
We'll see against Louisiana-Monroe, unless Stoops thinks he can skate past the Warhawks, West Virginia and Tulsa with a vanilla offense, saving the major changes for Notre Dame.
I wouldn't bet on Stoops getting all sneaky, though. He knows a rookie quarterback needs all the weaponry at hand to succeed.
Stoops three times has gone with a redshirt freshman. Once by choice (Bradford, 2007), once by exasperation (Rhett Bomar, 2005) and once by necessity (Landry, 2009).
Bradford was the best (no holes in that theory) but after a glittering start still struggled at mediocre Colorado in September 2007, losing 27-24. Bomar and Landry took awhile to get their bearings, too. UCLA, Miami, Brigham Young. Some rough outings there.
So expect Knight to come out moving, if not all-out running, and don't look for the Sooners to retreat, no matter how long the Knight era lasts.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.