Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Crimson Countdown: QB Trevor Knight
By Brandon Chatmon
During the summer months, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
If Trevor Knight's Sugar Bowl performance becomes his baseline standard, then Oklahoma fans will enjoy the 2014 season a lot.
Impact thus far: Knight has been on campus for two seasons but has already made a major impact on the Sooners. After a redshirt season in 2012, Knight won the starting job as a redshirt freshman. He had an up-and-down season, finishing with 819 passing yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions while adding 445 rushing yards and two scores. Even with his struggles, his freshman season is largely remembered for a Sugar Bowl MVP performance in OU’s win over Alabama. He passed for 348 yards and four touchdowns against the Crimson Tide.
Impact in 2014: Knight will be the man in OU’s backfield with the Sooners’ championship hopes resting on his shoulders as the starting quarterback. He’s shown signs of being able to handle the burden but will need to consistently play at a high level to lead OU into Big 12 title and/or College Football Playoff contention.
Long-term upside: Knight showed he has the potential to be one of the nation’s top quarterbacks with his performance against Alabama. He has all the traits of an elite quarterback, so it will be interesting to see if he maximizes his upside and becomes one of the best signal-callers in OU history.
Evaluation grade for Knight: A. The Sooners did a terrific job evaluating Knight. They have insisted their move to more mobile quarterbacks does not include sacrificing the ability to throw the ball with efficiency. Knight is an example of a guy who can make defenses play with his feet while not sacrificing any passing threat. Superb evaluation.
Development grade for Knight: A. It would have been easy for the Sooners to just give the starting job to Blake Bell in 2013 and allow Knight to learn for a couple of seasons behind him. Instead, OU proved its open quarterback competition was wide open as Knight swooped in and won the job. Some programs would not have been willing to risk placing its destiny on the shoulders of a redshirt freshman quarterback.
Quotable: “I think he showed the whole country what we've been watching for two years in our practices and our scrimmages and things like that, that the game has started to slow down for him where he's really starting to feel comfortable in what he can do when he is. He's got a very live arm with great legs.” -- OU coach Bob Stoops after Knight’s Sugar Bowl MVP performance.