Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: Was the quarterback competition close?

by Berry Tramel Modified: August 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm •  Published: August 26, 2013
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell answers a question at a news conference during media day in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell answers a question at a news conference during media day in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

A guy with access to OU football practice told me a couple of weeks ago that Trevor Knight clearly looked the best of the Sooner quarterbacks.

He shot me an email the other day and said, “I told you so.”

Yep, I responded. You could be a football scout.

Nah, he said. Anyone could see it.

Which is wildly interesting. If Knight clearly was better than Blake Bell, think of the ramifications. Starting with this; if Bell can recognize Knight’s superiority, it makes it much easier for the Sooners all the way around. Team chemistry, Bell’s disappointment, all those things.

“Blake, he’s a player,” said OU center Gabe Ikard. “He’s a competitor. Obviously, he was disappointed. But he knows he can handle it one of two ways. Let it set him back, or push forward. He’s going to work to improve himself and he’s going to be ready to contribute.”

Bob Stoops has plenty of examples to share with anyone who thinks losing a quarterback derby is a dead end. Jason White, Nate Hybl, Rhett Bomar, Paul Thompson. Even Landry Jones, who didn’t lose a derby but found himself playing much more quickly than anyone thought.

Stoops said Bell was “disappointed, but determined to keep fighting for the job. Which you would expect and I want him to.”

Stoops said he told Bell “we felt he could be a winning quarterback, too. To continue to work that way, to continue to put yourself in that position.”

Stoops said Bell took the news “as well as you can. It’s never good, it’s not what they want. He understands, too, you never know.”

Stoops said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel delivered the news to the quarterbacks, then Stoops counseled them.

“That’s how it is” being a coach, Stoops said. “You want good competition always.”

Stoops said Knight took the news “like you’d expect. He was excited and ready to come out and practice. Nothing overboard.”


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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