The Sooners are hoping Bell and McNamara can be pass-catching options from the spot this season.
“We don’t need blockers,” Boulware said. “We need guys who can run down the field and make plays on the ball and Blake can do that.
“He can do it very well.”
The transition has been a pretty smooth one.
“He’s self-motivated,” Boulware said. “He’s been busting his butt since the time we made the move, coming in here watching extra tape and learning the new position, watching our drill tapes and it’s amazing how far he’s come in such a small amount of time.”
Now the Sooners will have to adjust for at least the final week of spring practice, with McNamara and junior college transfer Isaac Ijalana figuring to be the biggest beneficiaries of the additional reps.
McNamara (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) started a game as a true freshman before an injury led to a medical redshirt. Last season he played in three games with the catch in the Sugar Bowl.
Ijalana (6-4, 248) is a sophomore who had eight catches for 80 yards last year at Pierce College in California.
Knight’s twin brother, Connor, is a sophomore tight end for the Sooners.
In 2011 and 2012, Bell replaced starting quarterback Landry Jones frequently in short-yardage and red-zone situations.
Over those two seasons, the “Belldozer” ran for 24 touchdowns. As a redshirt freshman, he was named the Insight Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player after running for three touchdowns in a win over Iowa. He scored four touchdowns against Texas and his late touchdown helped send Bedlam to overtime as a sophomore.