Oklahoma football: Fiery Blake Bell invigorated by quarterback derby

Blake Bell's family and those who knew him in high school say he's always been an emotional player. And those who know him best say he's invigorated by having to earn the job through a lengthy, tough quarterback derby.
by Jason Kersey Published: July 20, 2013
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photo - CELEBRATION: OU's Blake Bell (10) celebrates after the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. OU won, 63-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
CELEBRATION: OU's Blake Bell (10) celebrates after the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. OU won, 63-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“He's got a great competitive fire in him,” said Bishop Carroll coach Alan Schuckman. “Right, wrong or indifferent, that's the way he's wired. I know as a coach, I loved having that type of personality at quarterback.

“I think it inspired his teammates and made them play with more fire and energy. Game day is one thing, but he was always high energy — in practice, it's every snap; in the weight room, it's every rep. That's definitely contagious.”

Bell threw for 2,752 yards, 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions as a senior at Bishop Carroll, while also rushing for 839 yards and 22 scores. In one memorable game that was televised nationally on ESPNU, Bishop Carroll trailed crosstown rival Kapaun Mount Carmel by two touchdowns late in the first half before Bell led the team to a thrilling 36-34 victory.

He threw for 239 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 80 yards and three scores that night, when Carroll claimed the City League title.

“Seeing your leader and your quarterback so energetic will just make the rest of the team more energetic,” said Joe Brown, Bell's teammate at Bishop Carroll High in Wichita, Kan., and now a senior tight end at Colorado State.

“I've played with him since eighth grade and he's always been that way.”

Even as Bell put up eye-popping statistics and received several high-profile scholarship offers, though, no one could've imagined the level of celebrity he's attained — particularly as a backup quarterback.

“You have high hopes for him, but you never in your wildest dreams would think that you'd go to your local grocery store and find four magazines with him on the cover,” said his mother, Sherry Bell.

She was called for jury duty in Wichita last week, and said she was approached several times and asked about Blake.

“‘Hey, how's the Belldozer doing?'” she recalled with a laugh. “It's affected our lives immensely. It's like a household word.”

Brown said, “It's funny to brag about him up here. ‘That's my high school quarterback.' I'm excited and happy for him. He deserves all he's gotten. He's a great teammate.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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