NORMAN — Last year this time, Landry Jones tried to prepare like he was Oklahoma’s starting quarterback.
But every spring practice, every time Heisman quarterback Sam Bradford delivered a pinpoint pass, Jones was reminded he was not.
"You always say prepare like you’re going to be the one,” said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "But when you’re not, it’s hard.
"When there’s Sam, you think you’re not going to play.”
This spring, however, Bradford is no longer around.
Instead — even though he maintains the quarterback competition is ongoing — Jones is now the guy.
"Life has radically changed,” Jones said Monday night after OU’s first practice of the spring.
"A year ago, I was the backup quarterback. This year, I get to compete for the starting job. Obviously, it’s still an open competition so I’m not safe yet. I don’t have the spot yet. I have to compete for it. But it felt different today all the snaps with the ones than it did taking them with the twos.”
Heading into last spring, Jones’ chances of playing meaningful snaps seemed slim. Ahead of him on the depth chart was Bradford, coming off the best season by a quarterback in school history.
But during the opener, Bradford was injured — eventually for the season — tossing Jones into the fray sooner than anyone could have predicted.
Jones had some bumps along the way, as OU struggled through five regular-season losses, due in large part to injuries on the offensive side.