NORMAN — Wrapping up our unit-by-unit look at the 2014 Oklahoma football team, here is a quick glance at the Sooners’ quarterbacks entering Saturday’s spring game.
No.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.
9; Trevor Knight; So.; 6-1; 201
14; Cody Thomas; RFr.; 6-5; 209
4; Justice Hansen; Fr.; 6-4; 215
*6; Baker Mayfield; So.; 6-2; 220
* — Mayfield is ineligible to play in 2014 after transferring from Texas Tech.
Quarterback analysis: The future of this position at Oklahoma was 100 percent settled with Knight’s spectacular, MVP performance against two-time defending national champion Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Senior Blake Bell, who started eight games at quarterback in 2013, switched to tight end, clearing up any lingering doubt — if there could possibly be any.
The biggest question facing the Sooners now is this: Who will back Knight up? Although the Sugar Bowl showing was nothing short of fantastic, there are still some health questions with the sophomore, who left two of his five starts last season with injuries. That makes the battle between redshirt freshman Cody Thomas and true freshman Justice Hansen all the more intriguing.
Thomas would seemingly have the upper hand considering the season he has already spent on campus, but Hansen enrolled early from Edmond Santa Fe to get a jump on his collegiate career. With Thomas splitting time this spring between baseball and football, does Hansen have a better chance to earn that backup job?
And if Hansen does take his place as the Knight’s backup, what would it actually take for Sooner coaches to burn his redshirt? Would Knight have to be injured and out for multiple games, or would Hansen come in for one play — thereby burning his redshirt — if Knight’s helmet comes off and he has to sit one play out? What about the final minutes of a blowout victory? These are all questions that will surely have interesting answers.
Mayfield, of course, might have been the clear backup if he wasn’t forced to sit out one season because of his transfer. He was excellent at times last year as a true freshman for Texas Tech, and it’s a shame that Big 12 rules stipulate he must not only sit out this year, but also lose a season of eligibility, meaning he can’t even redshirt in 2014.
Here’s a full schedule for the “State of the Sooners” series:
Wednesday, 9 a.m..: Special teams
Wednesday, noon.: Defensive backs
Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Linebackers
Thursday, 9 a.m.: Defensive linemen
Thursday, noon: Offensive linemen
Thursday, 3 p.m.: Tight ends
Friday, 9 a.m.: Wide receivers
Friday, noon: Running backs
Friday, 3 p.m.: Quarterbacks