It’s not everyday that a coach looks down at his checklist and reads “replace quarterback.” In fact, it’s not every year a program goes through it, especially one as great as Landry Jones.
Jones, who got drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in April’s NFL draft, left Oklahoma and the Sooners as a 4-year starter and the leader in the Big 12 in passing yards with 16,646. That was good for third in NCAA history. He also left OU with a school-record 123 touchdowns, fifth in NCAA history. Now it’s time for Bob Stoops to make a crucial decision.
As of July 6, OU had three quarterbacks on its roster. Junior Blake “The Bell-dozer” Bell, who is the leading candidate for the job after backing up Jones the last two seasons, sophomore Kendal Thompson and freshman Trevor Knight. Bell stands at 6’6 and a whopping 263 pounds, while Thompson and Knight both stand at 6’1, and 191 and 202 pounds respectively.
Bell seems to be the sure pick for the Sooners, but he’s only completed 10-for-20 passes for 115 yards in 19 career games. The Bell-dozer is much more known for his running game, if you can even call it that (Bell was usually inserted in the short game or goal-line situations).
Bell, who was ranked as the number one quarterback out of Kansas by Scouts.com after high school, has rushed the ball 102 times for 361 yards and 24 touchdowns, including 13 in 2011, the most by a freshman quarterback in program history. He rushed the ball 44 times that year, 26 of which going for either a first down or touchdown.
When Bell did attempt a pass, he almost reminded me of Tim Tebow. Being a big quarterback that can use his feet, Bell as two years to prove he can do some of the same things that Tebow did down in Florida. That’s run, pass, and most important, be a starting quarterback.
The Bell-dozer will try to do what past quarterbacks such as Sam Bradford, Jones and Jason White didn’t do while in Norman, and that’s win a national championship. Bell and the Sooners hope to be, once again, in the mix for a title in the upcoming season and win their first since 2000.