NORMAN — When Oklahoma opens its 2013 football season Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight will become the second OU starting quarterback from San Antonio. The first was Thomas Lott.
I wrote about the connection between Knight and Lott for Monday’s newspaper. You can read that story here.
Lott and I talked via telephone Sunday for the story. I wasn’t able to include all of his comments, so here is a more complete Q&A:
Q: How do you feel about another San Antonio kid becoming the OU quarterback?
“I’m happy about it. I’m always pulling for a home boy. That’s one of my home boys. I’m always pulling for that. San Antonio was gracious enough to put me in the San Antonio Hall of Fame. They gave me a key to the city. That’s my home. Anyone that comes out of that area, I’m rooting for them.
“He’s pretty much going through what I went through. Here is a guy with a little more experience ahead of him, and him having to work hard to overcome that. He’s a player coming from San Antonio getting the opportunity to prove that he can run the football team. He still has to prove that, though. I am going to definitely be rooting him on.
“When you get recruited, most coaches should be telling the guy, ‘Look, we’re gonna give you an opportunity to be our starting quarterback.’ They should live up to that, and it looks like they’re gonna go ahead and give him his opportunity.”
Most people believed the job was Blake Bell’s to lose. Were you surprised with the way the quarterback battle went?
“Bell really hadn’t played quarterback. I tell people all the time; he basically played fullback. They were competing on a pretty even level when it comes to playing quarterback. But he did have the experience of at least being out on the field. That’s something you have to overcome. That’s something I had to overcome.
“They’re smart coaches. They see these guys day in and day out, and they see things we don’t get to see.”
You’re getting a new addition into the OU starting quarterbacks club. Do you stay in touch with other OU quarterbacks?
“It’s definitely an exclusive club. There are only a couple guys who get the opportunity to be a quarterback for the University of Oklahoma. We see each other at different functions, and I know I have the upmost respect for any quarterback who was fortunate enough to play at the University of Oklahoma.”
You became OU’s starter as a relatively young guy in your career. What are some of the extra issues a young quarterback faces?
“I started as a sophomore, and that’s basically what he’s doing. He redshirted, so this is not his first year in college. We started playing about the same time. He’s going to get the opportunity to play from the beginning of the season, and it wasn’t until the fourth game of the season before I started.
“There’s so much he has to learn. If he goes into it with the idea, ‘I have to get better every day. Every time I walk out on that field, I have to leave a better player than when I stepped out there,’ then he’s going about things the right way and he won’t get sidetracked with all this publicity.
“You can’t be concerned with all of that. When I started playing, I knew I had a lot to learn. My goal was to get better every day, and eventually, I would be where I wanted to be.”
When you became the starter, OU was coming out of the Steve Davis era. Knight is taking over for Landry Jones, another long-time starter. Are there additional challenges when you’re replacing someone like that?
“Well, it wasn’t quite the same situation. Steve had won two national championships. I’d say that’s a little bit of a different situation than what he’s going into. But you have to be focused on what you need to accomplish and what you need to learn, and not try to be like someone else. If he can do that and keep his focus on what he needs to, then the outside things that are going on, the talk and the people, they won’t have an effect.”