- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com. Quarterback Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) will kick off the series.
“He’s extremely athletic, we love his overall competitiveness as a baseball player. Because he’s a baseball player he hasn’t spent a ton of time developing himself, he doesn’t have a quarterbacks coach. He’s athletic enough to run with the football, accurate with the football to every area of the field. We feel like he has a ton of upside.” - Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel.
The Sooners clearly feel Thomas' best football is ahead of him and consider him terrific athlete at quarterback with plenty of room to grow and improve. It's a sign that being a quality athlete has become a priority as the staff searches for signal-callers.
"As he grows into his body, he’s going to continue to grow his arm strength. I love his makeup. He’s a great football player, great baseball player, likes competitive situations. He’s extremely bright, we believe he’s going to be an asset to our program. You have to be able to process things extremely quickly on the field, you have to be able to translate things from the quarterback room onto the field. He has the right makeup to be a special player down the road.” - Heupel
Heupel stressed some of the intangibles Thomas brings to the table along with his superb athletic ability. Thomas joins Trevor Knight and Blake Bell as quarterbacks who were lauded for their intangibles when they signed.
Running backs coach Cale Gundy also had high praise for Thomas, comparing him to a former Heisman Trophy winner at OU.
"He reminds me of Sam Bradford when you watch his high school film, the way he moves and throws the ball." - Gundy
Thomas and Bradford have similar traits as multi-sport stars in high school who step on campus with excellent intangibles.
"Cody is another kid with incredible intangibles. It was fun to watch him on his recruiting visit interacting with others. He has great leadership qualities, he’s a three-sport athlete that excels at many different things. Some of our former quarterbacks had a lot of the same qualities.” - Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell
There's been plenty of talk of Thomas electing to play professional baseball. An outfielder, Thomas has a great chance to be selected in the MLB draft this summer, but the Sooners lone quarterback signee has been consistent in saying he wants to play college football. Unlike 2011 quarterback signee Archie Bradley, it would be a major surprise if Thomas shunned the Sooners to play professional baseball.