NORMAN — Bob Stoops couldn't help but rave about quarterback Blake Bell on Friday.
Impressive. Bright. All the personality traits to be exceptional. Further ahead of the game physically than any true freshman he's ever seen.
Yet one thing was clear coming out of Oklahoma media day.
From Stoops. The players. Even the fans.
Landry Jones is OU's quarterback.
And for the foreseeable future.
"We don't even question it," said junior Ryan Broyles, OU's leading receiver from last season. "I really haven't even thought about it.
"He's our guy. There's nothing else to say about it."
The majority of Sooner fans appear to have a similar opinion.
Friday, The Oklahoman polled nearly 100 of those who showed up to get autographs at Meet the Sooners Day. Of those, 70 percent said not only will Jones be OU's quarterback in 2010, he'll be the starter in 2011, as well.
"I've always been a Landry fan. He has a lot of potential," said Alan Fortenberry, of Edmond. "People focus on his bad games, but when he played well he played really well."
"He got thrust in there last year, and that's really going to help him," said another fan, Charles Milligan, of Midwest City. "I think the growth from year one to year two is going to be enormous."
About an hour into last season, Jones had the unenviable task as a redshirt freshman of supplanting Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford . In losses at Nebraska and Texas Tech, Jones struggled, along with the rest of the offense.
But down the stretch, Jones oozed confidence, blistering Stanford for a Sooner bowl record 418 passing yards and three touchdowns.
"He was stuck in as tough a position that you could ever been thrown into," Stoops said. "He handled it really well. I loved his demeanor the whole year, and I loved seeing him grow through the year. By the end, he was a really confident young man, a man who was sure of himself. The guys around him played better and I think the growth of the offense showed. I saw that in the spring and I saw it (on the first day of practice).
"He's a guy who really, now with all that experience, is sure of himself and looking forward confidently with what he's got ahead of him."
Stoops even went as far as to say Jones reminded him of Sooner great quarterbacks Josh Heupel, Jason White and Bradford.
"He is in that style of guy, when you look at the quarterbacks we've had over the years," Stoops said. "I really believe Landry is in that mold."
But not all Sooner fans are convinced. One-fourth of those who participated in The Oklahoman's poll said Jones is only keeping the spot warm, until Bell is ready.
"I live in Wichita, and I've seen Blake play, and man, that guy can play," said Steve Martin, who drove down for Meet the Sooners Day. "I think Bell will take it from Landry."
Bell, one of the top high school prospects from a year ago, will sure try.
But Jones, who had little competition last season after Bradford went down, welcomes that challenge from Bell and Drew Allen, who redshirted as a freshman last season.
"Coming to a program like Oklahoma, you're always going to have great players behind you. You have Drew. You have Blake. If I take a day off, they'll be there, trying to take my spot," Jones said.
"But competition always makes you better. It's good to have Drew and Blake pushing me."
It will be interesting to see how Jones deals with that pressure. With Bell or Allen geared up to take the helm if Jones struggles against Florida State or Cincinnati or Texas.
But until that day comes, Jones is the guy.
For now. And the foreseeable future.