Friday, March 2, 2012
Spring Position Preview: Quarterback
By Brandon Chatmon
It’s tough to compete for championships without a quality quarterback. Luckily, Oklahoma doesn’t have that problem.
Landry Jones, returning for his senior season at Oklahoma, could be the Big 12's top returning quarterback.
What Oklahoma has: The Sooners have one of the deepest groups of quarterbacks in the nation with potential Heisman Trophy candidate Landry Jones returning for his final season and sophomore Blake Bell giving OU options with its “Belldozer” package.
Jones threw for 4,463 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior although he struggled without All-American receiver Ryan Broyles in the Sooners' final four games.
Bell became a major contributor in the offense as a redshirt freshman, rushing for 13 touchdowns and helping solidify the Sooners’ short yardage packages.
What Oklahoma needs: Jones needs to find a “go-to” receiver this spring, so getting him plenty of reps with Kenny Stills, Kameel Jackson and others is key.
Bell and Drew Allen will be competing for the backup quarterback job behind Jones. The winner could gain the edge in the race to replace Jones in 2013. It should be one of the most interesting battles of the spring.
This spring is also a key couple of months for redshirt freshman Kendal Thompson. It will be his first opportunity to impress the coaching staff in spring ball and he could force himself into the competition for the backup quarterback spot.
Position Grade: Jones could have been an first-round pick in the NFL draft but he returned to OU, while Bell has proven he can make an impact in a backup role. It’s hard to imagine a much better scenario at quarterback in college football.