Is Bob Stoops trying to prove to everyone he knows more than the rest of us, or is he just trying to make a point that he is the one calling the shots in Norman? After an off-season trying to convince everyone the starting quarterback competition was much tighter than most of us ever really wanted to admit, a report says Stoops will name redshirt freshman Trevor Knight the starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2013 instead of Blake Bell.
A local Oklahoma television report from News On 6 says the announcement that Knight will be the starting quarterback could come today, although there is no official word on that development just yet. As of yesterday Stoops told the media he would like to have a few more practices before coming to a final decision. So is News on 6 jumping on the gun with hopes of eventually being right, or is there more inside information to suggest this decision will indeed become official.
Knight, a pro-style quarterback, was signed by Oklahoma in the Class of 2012 and is a four star prospect according to Rivals. Rivals ranked Knight as the sixth top quarterback in the Class of 2012 and has drawn comparisons to Jake Locker. If Stoops does go with Knight it could be an opportunity to grow an offense around a starting quarterback with plenty of playing time ahead of him, similar to the experience Landry Jones recently had with the Sooners. While allowing future potential to blossom is not necessarily a bad decision, it still comes as a bit of a surprise to see Bell not getting the starting job.
Bell played in all 13 games for the Sooners in 2012, although he was used more as a running option near the goal line and in other short-yardage situations due to his ability to pick up tough yards. This trait helped earn the nickname Belldozer. Bell accounted for 11 touchdown runs last season and 13 on the ground in 2011. He has become Oklahoma's top red zone weapon as well. Over the last two seasons, Bell has touched the football 46 times inside the red zone and scored 21 touchdowns. He has yet to throw a touchdown pass for the Sooners. Even if the decision is to run the offense primarily through Knight, expect to see plenty of Bell in similar situations in 2013. To not tap that resource would be a mistake for Oklahoma, and Stoops is well aware of that.
Is it a surprise if Knight wins the starting job? Mildly, but this does not mean Bell will not have a role in Oklahoma's offense in 2013.