NORMAN — Trevor Knight was a no-show Tuesday night in the OU football interview room.
Most media were disappointed, and some fans will be the same. They'd like to hear from the newly-crowned Sooner quarterback, who has faced the microphones just once since the spring game, and that was 3½ weeks ago, when Blake Bell was the heir apparent.
Not me. I wasn't disappointed. I didn't figure Knight would talk Tuesday, despite being told otherwise. Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel are growing too fond of the muzzle. Keep the quarterback quiet as long as you can.
Needlessly, if you ask me. It's not like Sooner coaches have to worry about loquacious quarterbacks. Sam Bradford and Landry Jones have conditioned Soonerville with seven straight seasons of quarterbacks with boring personalities.
No reason to think Knight is going to be any different. In fact, it's one of the job requirements. Strong and accurate arm. Good decision-making. Show no personality, even under threat of Chinese water torture.
Mobility is optional. The Sgt. Schultz routine is not. “I know nuuuuuuuuuuthing.”
Stoops' best quarterbacks have been — how to put this delicately — dull. Bradford, Jason White, Heupel himself. In that group, you've got two Heismans, three All-Americans, one national championship, four national title games and not one decent quote.
Here's what's maddening. They didn't come by it honest. Since White's playing days, he's become an engaging interview with lots of good insight. I called him last week for a story. And Bradford is much more chatty since becoming a St. Louis Ram.
Of course, Heupel's about the same, having never left the cocoon.
It's not like every Stoops quarterback is monotonous. Nate Hybl and Paul Thompson both were great talkers; smart, funny, personable, while somehow avoiding tipping us off on a trick play for Texas or locker-room gossip.
After their careers, I worked radio with both. They were enjoyable and entertaining and never once betrayed state secrets. Remarkable what a sharp mind can achieve.
A guy at one of OKC's all-sports radio stations told me that Landry Jones' agent has called, trying to get Landry a radio gig. Lord help us all.
For all we know, Landry is Sir Laughs A Lot. But if so, he's hidden it well. As is, the state of Oklahoma wants to hear Landry on the radio the way the Greatest Generation wants to hear Tokyo Rose.
Time was, OU quarterbacks were spokesmen for the squad. Steve Davis and J.C. Watts were charming and confidence-instilling, as befitting Baptist preachers. Jamelle Holieway was endearing in a street-wise sort of way, yet never said anything that caused a firestorm. Boz, yes. Holieway, no.
The most quotable Sooner quarterback ever might have been Cale Gundy. You'd never know it today, with Gundy on Stoops' staff and entering his 15th season of talking in empty clichés.
But when Gundy was a player, he spoke his mind. Even famously questioned the Sooners' play-calling after the 1990 Texas game, when Gundy was a freshman.
If a quarterback today ever questioned the play-calling, Stoops would call out the National Guard and have the campus on lockdown.
If the reformed Gundy has advice for Knight, no doubt it will be, do as I say, not as I said.
Eventually Knight will talk, maybe after the Louisiana-Monroe game Saturday night, but you can rest assured, he's been well-coached. He'll have nothing to say.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.