Monday, February 17, 2014
OU players to watch during spring: No. 5
By Brandon Chatmon
Spring football could be a critical time for several Oklahoma football players.
Some Sooners will prove they are ready to make a major impact in 2014; others will show they need more seasoning before they earn a permanent place in OU’s future plans. This week we'll look at five players to keep an eye on during spring football, starting with No. 5.
Oklahoma's Blake Bell is preparing to play a new position this spring.
Why: Bell will make a move to tight end after spending his first four years on campus as a quarterback. Bell had 1,763 passing yards and 627 rushing yards, accounting for 36 touchdowns in 31 games as a quarterback. But his future at the position was limited, thanks to projected 2014 starting quarterback Trevor Knight’s MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama.
Bell is ready to spend his final season at tight end with an eye on making an impact. His strength and athleticism at 6-foot-6 and 252 pounds will make him a physical force at tight end if he can make a smooth transition. Spring football will be a chance for Bell to learn the fundamentals and grow at the position without concerns about preparing to be a quarterback.
Best-case scenario: Bell makes a seamless transition to tight end with his size, speed and overall understanding of the offense. OU has been searching for an impact tight end for the past two seasons, and Bell has the physical tools to become a threat in the passing game and the physicality to hold his own in the running game.
Worst-case scenario: Bell doesn’t make a smooth transition and struggles with the demands of playing tight end. Bell’s transition will be one of the main stories of the spring but, realistically, it wouldn’t be crippling for the Sooners’ offense if the worst-case scenario occurs. OU can have success, much like the past two seasons, without an impact playmaker at tight end.