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When did Bob Stoops know Trevor Knight was special?

Stoops: “All of us watching practice a year ago would sometimes shake our heads — ‘Wow, did you see that, what he just did?'”
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 26, 2013

“(Knight's) skills are equivalent to Manziel's,” Nelson said. “He's able to run — he's so mobile — and he can throw on the run.

“He's outstanding.”

But you don't have to read too far between the lines to realize that Stoops and his coaching staff believed from the beginning that Knight had a big-time arm, too.

Stoops admitted that the great throws they saw him make last season with the scout team were on predetermined plays. The coaches put one of the opponent's plays on a card, and the quarterback makes a certain drop, and the receivers run a certain route, and to give the defense a fair look at what they'll see that next Saturday, there's very little reading of the defense or adjusting of the play.

“It's pretty easy when there's a card — ‘This is where I'm going' — as opposed to there's no card, ‘I've got to read it out,'” Stoops said.

That means Stoops took Knight's stellar scout team play with a grain of salt. Sure, he could run predetermined plays, but what about reading the defense and going through his progressions and making the right decisions?

Stoops knew that would be take some adjustment once Knight started running the Sooners' offense.

And still, the coach couldn't help himself from being amazed at what the quarterback was doing.

“I remember some other guys saying the same thing,” Stoops said. “‘Wow, you keep being excited about the throws he's making.'”

Stoops had no way of knowing then that Knight would become his starter now, but seeing the way Knight played on the scout team week after week last season, it didn't take him long before he knew one thing for certain.

Knight is a serious ballplayer.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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