NORMAN — Blake Bell loves Oklahoma.
So much so that the former quarterback, whose arm led the Sooners on a game-winning drive at rival Oklahoma State late last season, has decided to switch positions rather than transfer.
Following quarterback Trevor Knight's impressive performance in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, Bell approached OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and expressed his intentions to stay with the program as a tight end.
“Blake wants to play, wants to help his team, wants to compete and believes that's a great position for him to do that,” Heupel said. “I think everyone on our staff believes in him as a competitor and as a player. It's going to be a lot of fun for him to make a change and then see where he can grow. I feel like he's going to be a good player there.
“Over the break, he wasn't sure what he was going to do. He approached me when I got back into town, and we had a conversation. He said, ‘Listen, I want to play at the University of Oklahoma. I'm a Sooner. I believe we've got a chance to do something special here.'”
While coach Bob Stoops said the quarterback position remains an open competition, he hinted at Knight being entrenched as the starter.
“With the positive momentum of how Trevor played throughout that game and coming off that, we want to try and build off that,” Stoops said. “That being the case, we're excited that even though Blake can graduate and go somewhere else wants to stay here and finish out and wants to try tight end.”
Heupel clarified that Bell, who is 6-foot-6 and 252 pounds, would be strictly a tight end. He was not expected to be an option at quarterback next year even in the event of an injury to Knight.
Bell's bloodlines could help make him a natural fit for playing in the trenches. His father, Mark, played six seasons in the NFL as a defensive end for the Seahawks and Colts.
“Blake has the size, the athleticism and the speed to (play tight end),” Stoops said. “He has exhibited his toughness through the years. I think it'll be a great fit for him. He's already working on that, and it's something we'll see in the spring.”