Oklahoma Sooners: Brayden Scott

Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. Judging from the response of Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah), it appears Oklahoma quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel has burnt no bridges in his pursuit of a 2013 quarterback. It shouldn’t come as a shock with how experienced Heupel is with the process, but some OU fans were wondering about how he handled things. Scott said it was a class act by Heupel to call him the night Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) committed to OU. Scott said that gesture is proof that their friendship won't end anytime soon.

2. Jeers to the Big 12 baseball tournament schedule. The conference fell into a gold mine with having the two local attractions in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State face off on the first day of the tournament. So this seems like an easy primetime start, right? Wrong. The Bedlam showdown is going to happen at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. OSU has taken three of four games from the Sooners this season, but a late run by OU has the Sooners in the fourth seed and the Cowboys seeded fifth. Very intriguing to see the attendance numbers for the 9 a.m. first pitch.
Junior quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) has no problems admitting it. He is not ashamed to say he had tunnel vision regarding recruiting. His No. 1 choice was Oklahoma. His No. 2? Well, that’s what Scott is trying to determine now.

It has been an eventful couple of months for Scott. He understood his place on the totem pole when it came to OU’s quarterback situation. Four-star prospect Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) was OU’s first choice. When Browne chose USC, it opened the door for Scott and others with the Sooners.

That door closed last Tuesday night when four-star prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) committed to OU.

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No position gets scrutinized more in the recruiting world than quarterback. A prime example of that was Oklahoma’s pursuit to find the perfect signal-caller for its 2013 class. In most years, schools are only looking for one quarterback. It takes time and a lot of effort.

For the Sooners, it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of bumps and turns in the road, but OU landed one of its prime targets in Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage). Thomas, a four-star prospect, is ranked No. 11 as a pocket-passing quarterback and verbally committed to the Sooners on Tuesday even though he went public with the news on Thursday.

How did we get here? A timeline of Oklahoma's quarterback search for the class of 2013.

November 2011: Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) attends Oklahoma’s victory against Texas A&M. It is on this weekend that Swoopes says his OU offer was implied, and he is clearly one of OU’s top choices.

Tom Hauck for ESPN.com
Max Browne chose USC over Oklahoma on April 4.

Feb. 3, 2012: A day before OU’s first junior day, the Sooners make their first known offer at the position to four-star prospect Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline).

Feb. 4: OU’s first junior day brings in two top quarterbacks. Swoopes is joined by top in-state signal-caller Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). Swoopes is happy with the visit but not blown away by everything. Scott doesn’t receive an offer but is told by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel they will stay in contact.

Quarterback Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) is invited initially before being asked by Heupel to stay home. Quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) is also invited but cannot attend.

Feb. 17: Swoopes, ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country and coming off a fantastic visit at Texas’ junior day, commits to the Longhorns. He is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 150.

March 3: On OU’s second junior day, there is not much focus on quarterbacks. Barrett once again is invited but cannot make it. Austin Robinson (Houston/Bellaire Episcopal) is invited, but the distance keeps him from making the trip.

March 9: Browne makes an unofficial visit to OU. He is given the red-carpet treatment by the staff. He is shown the Sooners’ target board. It’s Browne at No. 1 ... and then everybody else. Browne says he could not have had a better time and has OU and USC as his top two choices.

March 28: A new name enters in Cody Thomas. Busy with baseball, Thomas manages to sneak in an unofficial visit on a Wednesday. He is not offered and is told by Heupel they will keep in touch.

(Read full post)

The countdown for linebacker Kimmie Carson (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) is over. For the last several months, Carson has let the world know how much time was left until spring football started. No more months, no more weeks and no more days. Oklahoma high school spring practice has arrived as teams officially start today.

The OU coaches have spent time all over the country in the last four weeks. Defensive backs coach Mike Stoops was very active in California and Texas. Wide receivers coach Jay Norvell spent time in Florida and the southeast. And non-traditional spots such as Washington and Illinois have been destinations for the Sooners staff.

[+] EnlargeStanvon Taylor
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comIn-state cornerback Stanvon Taylor committed to the Sooners late last week.
But at least one coach will be staying close to home as defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp is expected to be at Tulsa East Central on Monday.

“I’m going to show out and show them what I can do,” Carson said. “I’m going to show them that I deserve that chance.”

Shipp has been the primary recruiter for the talented Tulsa East Central trio of four-star athlete Stanvon Taylor, cornerback Devanta Johnson and Carson.

The Sooners have shown a lot of interest in Tulsa East Central and that was even before Taylor verbally committed to OU 10 days ago.

His teammates have admitted they’re proud of Taylor, but they also want to show that they are on his level.

“I really want to see what I can do against him in practice,” Johnson said. “I’m excited and nervous. More excited than anything else because this is my opportunity.”

Johnson has received strong interest from Kansas State and Arkansas, while Carson has an offer from Arkansas State. But both have said their dream is to become a Sooner.

The 2013 Oklahoma high school class isn’t as top-heavy as the 2012 group. That bunch had three of the top 80 recruits in the nation. Oklahoma City Heritage Hall had two of them in receivers Sterling Shepard (No. 60) and running back Barry J. Sanders (No. 80). Jenks running back Alex Ross was No. 70 in the ESPN 150. Shepard and Ross have signed with OU, while Sanders will play at Stanford.

This year’s group only has one player in the ESPN 150 in Lawton defensive end D.J. Ward. Ward, ranked No. 93, committed to the Sooners last month.

But the depth of the 2013 class is starting to stand out. The Sooners already have three commits from their home state as Tulsa Union offensive tackle Dalton Rodriguez will join Ward and Taylor in Norman, Okla.

The Oklahoma coaching staff is also looking hard at quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). If Scott doesn’t receive an OU offer, he is already in great shape with 12 other offers.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. The dominoes are falling when it comes to the Oklahoma quarterback search. OU assistant coach Josh Heupel has already had an extensive visit with Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). And it was revealed Monday that four-star prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) earned an OU offer. However, four-star prospect Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) also said Heupel is going to visit him Wednesday. Coincidentally enough, Thomas is ranked No. 11 as a pocket-passing quarterback, while Rettig is right behind him at No. 12. Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) has also been in constant communication with Heupel.

2. Spring football is alive and well in states like Texas and Florida, but for the top programs in Oklahoma, there is still one more week to go. In taking a trip to the Tulsa area Monday, the recruits are itching for things to start. Cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) and offensive tackle Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union) want to show why OU has faith in them. Tulsa East Central teammates Devanta Johnson and Kimmie Carson want to prove that OU should take a look at them. There is no telling how many more in-state recruits the Sooners are really looking at, but the kids are ready to put on their best performances possible when May 14 rolls around.

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Quarterback Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) was getting tired of hearing questions about his health.

Rettig, who tore his right ACL and meniscus during his team's second game of last season, wanted to prove to everybody that he was 100 percent healthy. And at a quarterback academy event in California last month, he did just that, showing his mobility, arm strength and confidence. In other words, he showed he was back.

And the race to be Oklahoma’s 2013 quarterback has now added one more participant.

[+] EnlargeHayden Rettig
Gerry hamiltonOklahoma is expected to visit California quarterback prospect Hayden Rettig this month.
Spurred by that outing, the spring evaluation period has seen one top coach after another visit Rettig. And in the next couple of weeks, OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel is expected to be one of those visitors.

“You think of OU, and you think of all their good quarterbacks that have come from there lately,” Rettig said. “I remember watching Sam Bradford. You see what he was able to do, and you know you can succeed.”

Rettig is believed to be the fourth quarterback on Heupel and Oklahoma's radar for the class of 2013. Heupel has already had an in-person visit with Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and is expected to visit with Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) before the spring evaluation period ends on May 31.

It is likely Heupel will visit Rettig when he visits the other quarterback the Sooners are targeting, Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), because the two schools are in close proximity of each other.

Rettig said Heupel first contacted his high school coach nearly three months ago. Since that time, Rettig has been in communication with Heupel, talking to the OU assistant as recently as last week. With no more health concerns, Rettig and the Sooners seem to be on the same page.

At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Rettig is a four-star prospect and ranked the No. 12 pocket-passing quarterback in the nation.

If anybody thinks Rettig will have a problem going that far away home, just look at Chase, his older brother. Chase Rettig is the starting quarterback for Boston College and threw for 1,960 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

“[California] is nice, but you can always go back in the summer or on spring break and things like that,” Hayden Rettig said. “I want to go where I can play and compete for the spot.”

Rettig has offers from Auburn, Boston College, Vanderbilt and UCLA, among others. He said it has been a crazy process, but he has enjoyed it because he didn’t know how much attention he was going to receive after his injury. He threw for nearly 1,000 yards in the two games he played and was on his way to a stellar junior season, he said.

Rettig said it probably would have been one of his last plays of the game. Instead of getting out of bounds on a scramble, he tried to get a few more extra yards and that’s when the injury occurred.

“I thought I broke my leg,” he said.

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Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every week. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Tony in Tulsa, Okla., asks: We had the best wide receiver class in the nation last year. I haven’t heard a thing about this year’s group. What is Jay Norvell doing?

Bob Przybylo: OU receivers coach Jay Norvell is taking his time, and like all Sooners coaches, evaluating and determining which recruits deserve offers.

[+] EnlargeDurron Neal
John Albright/Icon SMIDurron Neal could make an immediate impact for the Sooners in 2012.
If you’re going to have a great receiving class one year -- which is no doubt what the Sooners and Norvell pulled off in 2012 -- it usually takes away the huge need for the position in the next class.

OU also sort of got lucky in having two of the top 10 receivers in its region with Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall) and Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit). That’s not the case this year. There are obviously some Texas targets, but that’s always a real battle.

Norvell offered several top national recruits (many are in the ESPN 150), but OU hasn’t really stood out at this point.

There are some connections. Four-star Sebastian Larue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) is friends with 2012 signee Derrick Woods. And fifth-ranked receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) is friends with 2012 signee David Smith. Neither, however, has taken visits to OU yet.

Treadwell, of course, was supposed to be at the spring game but canceled because of the severe weather. He ended up having a great time at Michigan’s spring game.

Adam in Joplin, Mo., asks: Who is going to be the best receiver from the 2012 group? Being a Missouri guy, I’m hoping it’s Durron Neal.

Bob Przybylo: You might not have to hope when it comes to Neal. He has the qualities to make him a special receiver. But coming off an incredible spring, it's tough to bet against Trey Metoyer. But knowing Neal and in talking to Shepard, that should only serve as motivation for both of them.

Of all the traits that this stellar group has, it might be their competitive drive that has set them apart from everybody else. They all want to be the best player on the field and all believe they are when they’re out there.

Gary in Lawton, Okla., asks: Are the Oklahoma high school kids for 2013 going a little under the radar? It seems like there are a lot more quality kids than what people were saying a couple of months ago.

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If quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) doesn’t get an Oklahoma offer, it won’t be because of a lack of effort.

Scott, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, was the first of OU’s remaining quarterback targets to receive an in-person evaluation by the Sooners. OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel stopped by Sequoyah-Tahlequah Friday afternoon to watch Scott workout with his team and stayed for more than three hours.

[+] EnlargeBrayden Scott
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJunior quarterback Brayden Scott has offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Houston, Clemson, Arizona State and Arizona, among others.
“We did everything you can think of when it comes to being a quarterback,” Scott said. “We did three-step, five-step, seven-step drops, throwing on the run, hitting stationary targets. Any and everything.”

He also benched 225 pounds 10 times and took a little break to show off his athleticism by dunking basketballs in the school gym.

Scott didn’t earn an OU offer Friday, but he said he is not worried about what the future holds. It is believed Heupel is going to watch all the quarterback finalists before making his decision and he is expected to watch Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) in early May.

Scott said getting an opportunity to throw in a competitive environment at the Elite 11 QB regional camp in Atlanta the week before made him more in sync for Heupel’s visit.

“It definitely helped because I threw really well in front of him,” Scott said. “That was one of my better days, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

Scott said he finished in the top 10 of the Elite 11 regional and will also be attending an Elite 11 regional event in Las Vegas on June 16. The goal remains the same for Scott, who hopes to earn the invite to the finals in July.

He also wants to be done with his recruitment by the Las Vegas event. Scott declined to comment on most of the conversation he had with Heupel because he promised Heupel he wouldn’t say anything.

One thing Scott didn’t get answered was the timetable on when a decision will be made.

“I really want to know and wanted to ask, but I didn’t just want to throw it out there. There was no way to sneak it in, either, but that’s OK,” Scott said. “I’ll just be ready.”

And as much as Scott is hoping an OU offer is just around the corner, he won't have much downtime to contemplate things.

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Tahlequah (Okla.) Sequoyah football coach Brent Scott is normally more active in helping his players get recruited. He is usually calling coaches to try to help his players get noticed. But with his son, junior quarterback Brayden Scott, Brent has taken a backseat. He has answered questions about the process, but also has tried not to hover.

“I haven’t been that much involved with Brayden’s recruiting because I don’t want to be that type of father,” Brent Scott said.

Brayden Scott
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSOklahoma quarterback target Brayden Scott competed in the Elite 11 QB regional camp in Atlanta over the weekend.
Though Brent isn’t as active with his son’s recruitment, he is very pronounced in the process because of all the coaches that are calling him. One of those coaches he has talked with frequently is Oklahoma quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel.

Brent Scott, who played quarterback at Oklahoma State, never considered OU as a potential home for his son, he said. But Heupel has been in contact with the Scott family since Brayden was in the eighth grade, and there is no doubt Brayden is on the Sooners' short list for a quarterback offer for the class of 2013.

And that would be perfectly fine with Brent.

“Coach Heupel has done a heck of a job, in my opinion, of handling everything,” Brent Scott said. “From a coaching and parent standpoint, I don’t have any problems.”

This isn’t the first time Heupel has come to the small eastern Oklahoma high school. Back when OU was searching for its quarterback for the class of 2008, Heupel visited Tahlequah Sequoyah to evaluate its star signal-caller Nathan Stanley.

Stanley signed with Ole Miss before transferring to Southeastern Louisiana, while the Sooners, of course, ended up choosing a quarterback from New Mexico named Landry Jones.

“What I remember is how thorough he was. Coach Heupel spends a lot of time evaluating. He doesn’t rush the process,” Brent Scott said. “After I saw Landry play, yeah, he probably was a little better than Nathan.”

Heupel hasn’t rushed the process for this class either, even if some OU fans had hoped the quarterback situation would be finalized at this point. After four-star quarterback Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) committed to USC, there was plenty of intrigue in how the Oklahoma coaches would react.

Instead of making an immediate offer, however, Heupel told three quarterback targets that they’re in the conversation to be Oklahoma's next offer, but there would be no final decisions until he evaluated all of them in person.

Those quarterbacks -- Scott, Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) and Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) -- are all set to be visited by Heupel during the evaluation period this spring, which ends May 31.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. OU quarterback target Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) has couple of important days this weekend. Scott left for Atlanta on Thursday and will participate in the Elite 11 QB regional event, followed by the NIKE Football Training Camp event Saturday. He realizes this is his chance to shine and said he is hoping to get an invitation to the Elite 11 finals to The Opening. Scott will be evaluated in person by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel next Friday.

2. He didn’t make the ESPN 150, but OU fans have to be happy with the evaluation of defensive end commit Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy). Not much was made nationally when Dimon committed to the Sooners, but he was given a four-star rating and is ranked No. 17 at defensive end by the ESPN scouts. OU has two of the top three running backs and two of the top 17 defensive ends -- not a bad start to the 2013 class.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. For some schools, the evaluation period won’t mean much, but there are a couple of positions where it will be key for OU. This period should help OU find its solution at quarterback as OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel wants to see Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah), Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) and Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) throw in person. Offensive tackle will be another key spot as OU only has two uncommitted offers at the spot, but Coach Bruce Kittle has told numerous recruits that OU would take a second look at them during this six-week period.

2. It's a huge week for OU baseball, and the Sooners have a chance to build on that momentum. OU is coming off a 4-0 week that included a three-game sweep against Missouri. What was impressive against the Tigers was OU winning the first game in extra innings. Twice before, against Texas and Texas A&M, the Sooners lost the first game in extra innings and couldn’t recover the rest of the series. OU (22-14, 7-8 in Big 12) is at Oral Roberts on Tuesday night and hosts Alabama State for a three-game set at L. Dale Mitchell Park starting Friday.

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Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every Monday. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Jack in Oklahoma City asks: We now have two defensive end commits, but we’ve offered so many more. Are we done at this spot for this class?

Bob Przybylo: Most likely not. It believe Oklahoma's target has been to get three defensive ends for the class of 2013. D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy) are a great start and OU is in good position with a number of quality ends.

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Forum chat wrap: OU quarterback targets

April, 13, 2012

The SoonerNation staff -- joined by ESPN.com Midlands recruiting writer Damon Sayles -- held a live chat on our forum Thursday night to talk about OU football and recruiting. Check out the full transcript here. Insider

Here are a few highlights from the chat:

From ari20dal7: Of OU's current QB recruits, who has the highest ceiling as a Sooner? Who has the most bust potential?

Bob Przybylo: I think Cody Thomas has the highest ceiling. Love his film, love his measureables and enjoyed talking to him at the Elite 11 event three weeks ago. With that said, all three have questions.

1. Brayden Scott - Will he grow? 6-2 is nice, but 6-4, 6-5, would be better. He dominates the Oklahoma HS scene, but what does that really mean at a 3A level?

2. Kelly Hilinski - Got the passion, but does he have the game? His footwork is a real concern. Everybody thinks he will blow up with offers, but it's mid-April, and it still hasn't happened yet. Gotta be a reason, right?

3. Cody Thomas - It's all about baseball. If OU takes a chance on Thomas and then he elects to play baseball instead, well, yea, don't really to illustrate how tough that will be.

It's sad you have to nitpick like this, but when you're looking for your potential future quarterback, it's what you have to do. I've enjoyed getting to know all three. And regardless of what some have told me, no, I really don't have a dog in the race.

From SoonersFanSteve: Who do you seeing getting the most time at slot this year?

Jake Trotter: That's a tough one. Probably Trey Franks, but it wouldn't shock me if Kenny Stills gets a lot of time there.

Brandon Chatmon: Ideally you move Kenny or Trey Metoyer in there because the bottom line is you need a playmaker at slot so why not throw Metoyer in there a little bit this season, why wait? All this said, I wouldn't be shocked to see a freshmen come in and become a key rotation player in the slot, particularly late in the season.

From S O O N E R S: Looking ahead to 2014 recruiting.... Do you think OU will see a bounce in signings on the defensive side of the ball due to Mike Stoops and Tim Kish having been in place for a full year and being more rooted in the program?

Damon Sayles: A year in the system helps anybody ... even when your last name is Stoops. The Sooners will have a great chance to evaluate what they have and what they need probably by the fourth or fifth game, and the coaches will be ready to rock and roll with the 2014 class. Personally, I think it's all about taking the aggressive approach and gunning for who you want. Look where it's gotten Texas A&M with the 2013 class thus far.

There is a lot of overlap in the recruiting world when it comes to Arkansas and Oklahoma. But nowhere is it more prevalent than at the quarterback position.

Among Arkansas’ offers at the position are Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage). All three are considered to be on the short list for who OU is targeting at the quarterback position.

Following the firing of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino on Tuesday night, nothing has changed for both Scott and Hilinski.

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Chat wrap: Kenny Stills in the slot?

April, 10, 2012

SoonerNation writer Jake Trotter chatted with readers Monday. Here's the full transcript. If you didn't get your question answered, send it to Jake's mailbag to be published on Friday.

Here are a few highlights from the chat:

Jess (Oklahoma): Thoughts on Chaz Nelson and the D-line as a whole?

Jake Trotter: I think Chaz will help. His speed gives the position a change of pace off the sidelines. The starters there, though, will be King and R.J., with some combination of Walker, McGee and McFarland starting at tackle. The line has a chance to be good, but replacing Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis is not going to be easy.

Andy (OKC): Do u think Kenny Stills will play the slot receiver position this year?

Jake Trotter: I think that's a possibility, although I don't know if I see him as the full-time slot guy the way Broyles was. But with Metoyer coming on, they need to find a way to get both he and Stills on the field at the same time. That could require Stills sliding to the slot on occasion.

Adam (Wagoner, OK): What do you see as the biggest positive and negative to this upcoming team?

Jake Trotter: Positives: Veteran QB, several potential playmakers, veteran line, battle-tested LBs, 3 stars in the secondary; Negatives: No proven No. 1 WR, injury prone RBs, no experienced TE, questionable as to whether there are any difference makers on the d-line, return game.

Joshua (Lawton): With a QB corps of Blake Bell, Drew Allen, Kendal Thompson, Trevor Knight, and potentially Brayden Scott/Kelly Hilinski...which QB is most likely to transfer?

Jake Trotter: I can't see any of them transferring. Allen will be a senior next year, it makes no sense for him to transfer if he loses the job to Bell. Bell could still start his senior year, even if he loses the job to Allen, and could still operate the Belldozer. Thompson could always play another position if QB didn't work out. Knight is the only QB in his class, and really the only upperclassmen he would have to beat out would be Thompson.


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