Landry Jones wins over detractors, could break most of OU's passing records

BY MIKE BALDWIN Staff Writer mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: August 5, 2011

— Hard to believe there was some debate about who would be Oklahoma's starting quarterback in 2011 at Meet the Sooners Day last year.

It was such a hot topic, The Oklahoman polled OU fans.

Landry Jones was the overwhelming choice (70 percent), but incoming freshman Blake Bell received 25 percent of the votes.

Twelve months later, Jones has a stranglehold on the position. Some view him as the favorite to win the Heisman. NFL scouts rank Jones a top 15 pick in next year's draft.

"He's very much in the same mold as the other great quarterbacks we've had," said coach Bob Stoops. "And we've been fortunate to have a lot of them.

"He has the attitude, the work ethic, humility where players love him and want to play for him. And he's got skill. He's a big guy. He's got a huge arm. He's bright."

Jones' success isn't a knock against Bell, a big, athletic quarterback from Wichita, Kan. After redshirting last season, Bell has a bright future but is battling Drew Allen for the backup role.

A junior from Artesia, N.M., Jones is entering his third year as the starting quarterback. Stoops contends last season was the first time Jones truly was the starter, even though he started 10 games when Sam Bradford was sidelined with a shoulder injury two years ago.

"People forget when Sam gets hurt, (Jones) wasn't getting the number of snaps that Sam was getting," Stoops said. "It's not like we had a year to prepare for it by getting him practice snaps, whether it be two-a-days, the summer leading up to it or the spring.

"Naturally, he was behind the 8-ball with practice time that Sam was getting."

Jones now has had two springs. He's in his second fall camp as the starter, a seasoned veteran who has started 24 games.

"As a quarterback you can't replace playing games," Jones said. "No matter how long you practice, or how long you watch film, you can't replace game experience. Last year was really big for me."

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