Splitting time between positions doesn’t do Bell any good, especially if he truly does have a future in the NFL at tight end. Being the team-first guy Bell clearly is, he would probably return to quarterback if asked to do so and never complain about it, but there’s no chance he’d be happy.
Stoops and his staff are excited about Hansen’s future, and have shown no qualms about burning redshirts for players at other positions, even if it meant minimal playing time as true freshmen. If the coaches think a player can help immediately, they’ll give them that opportunity.
But it’s different at quarterback for obvious reasons. Many of the best quarterbacks of the Stoops era — Jason White, Sam Bradford, Landry Jones and Knight, to name a few — used redshirt seasons.
Stoops named Thomas the backup quarterback a couple weeks ago, and although he was dressed out for Saturday’s game, coaches didn’t feel comfortable putting him in, even to only hand the ball off. Meanwhile, Knight stayed in the game, risking injury that — if it was serious — could derail the Sooners’ hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff.
“We had guys ready,” Stoops said Saturday. “Blake was ready to go and Justice was ready to go if we had to. It’s just kind of odd we had to finish it out that way. It’s OK. It’s one game.”