NORMAN — If a few things had gone differently, quarterback Bryce Petty could very well have played Thursday night's top-10 showdown between Baylor and Oklahoma in crimson and cream.
“He was a good player coming out with a strong arm,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
Petty, from Midlothian, Texas, went through a strange, up-and-down recruiting experience. He committed to Tennessee in June 2008 after attending several camps, including Oklahoma's.
He hadn't received a scholarship offer from the Sooners when he committed to the Volunteers. But a few months later, Tennessee fired coach Phillip Fulmer and hired Lane Kiffin, who called Petty and said he wouldn't fit in Kiffin's system.
Petty was left scrambling for an opportunity, as many of his favorite schools — Oklahoma included — had moved on and didn't have room. The Sooners had a commitment from Drew Allen for the class of 2009.
Allen spent four years in Norman behind Landry Jones on the depth chart, and transferred to Syracuse for the 2013 season after it became apparent that he didn't have a future at Oklahoma.
“We had him here in the summertime,” Heupel said, adding that after Petty committed to Tennessee, OU coaches never pursued him again.
Petty told Rivals.com in December 2008, though, that Oklahoma coaches had reached out and said if Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford declared for the NFL Draft, they might be interested again. Bradford, of course, returned for another season.