NORMAN — Thomas Lott and Trevor Knight have a lot in common.
Both grew up in the Alamo's shadow. Both became Oklahoma's starting quarterback in their second year on campus, the season after a longtime, record setting field general's eligibility ran out. Both were flashy playmakers with their feet and won the job over more-experienced juniors.
Coach Bob Stoops announced last week that Knight, a redshirt freshman from San Antonio's Ronald Reagan High, will start the Sooners' season opener Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe on Owen Field. Lott, Oklahoma's starting quarterback from 1976-78, is thrilled a San Antonio native will command the OU offense for the second time ever.
“I'm always pulling for a home boy, and that's one of my home boys,” said Lott, who signed with OU in 1975 out of San Antonio's John Jay High.
There are a few differences between their narratives, of course. Knight replaces four-year starter Landry Jones, while Lott became the starter after three seasons with Steve Davis at the helm.
“Steve had won two national championships,” Lott said with a laugh. “I'd say that's a little bit of a different situation than what he's going into. … But you have to be focused on what you need to accomplish and what you need to learn, and not try to be like someone else.”
And while Knight got the call for the season opener after winning a long, grueling position battle against junior Blake Bell, Lott spent the first few games of 1976 as Dean Blevins' backup.
“There's so much he has to learn,” Lott said. “If he goes into it with the idea, ‘I have to get better every day. Every time I walk out on that field, I have to leave a better player than when I stepped out there,' then he's going about things the right way and he won't get sidetracked with all this publicity.
“You can't be concerned with all of that. When I started playing, I knew I had a lot to learn. My goal was to get better every day, and eventually, I would be where I wanted to be.”