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Bradford's the man, but Jones is here to compete
OU football

By John Helsley Published: August 6, 2008
NORMAN – Sam Bradford stands entrenched as Oklahoma's quarterback.

Sooner fans surely envision three more seasons of the same savvy and production that marked Bradford's memorable debut, a year that now has the OU sophomore riding momentum that features Heisman Trophy talk.

Still, Landry Jones jumped at the chance to be a Sooner.

Jones – one of the nation's top quarterback recruits last winter – could have gone to UCLA or Oregon or Wisconsin or a number of schools where the quarterback job promised greater opportunity for immediate playing time.

"If you're going to go to a school that has a top 20 program and wants to compete for a national championship,” said Landry's father, Kevin, "something he knows that Oklahoma's going to do year in and year out – and that's what he's all about , competing for the national championship – the competition is always going to be stiff.

"Everybody there is going to be good. They don't win national championships with kids who are average.”

So when Bradford posted the NCAA record with 36 touchdown passes as a freshman, Jones didn't flinch, sticking to a commitment he'd given OU the previous March, long before Bradford had even won the job.

"I love guys like that,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said on signing day in February.

And with the Sooners two days into preseason workouts, Jones is here to compete.

For what, for now, is uncertain.

Jones and senior Joey Halzle are positioned behind Bradford. Halzle has an experience edge in the offense and is No. 2 on the depth chart. Jones may have an edge in skills, yet is still managing the learning curve.

Keith Nichol, another one-time contender to the job, has already fled campus.

"I think Landry's just going to let the season progress and do as much as he can,” said Kevin Jones. "From what he tells me, whatever they need him to do, he's willing to do. Whether that's run the scout team or run the third string or second string...

"Honestly, this is Sam's year this year.

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