The opportunity to name Oklahoma’s starting quarterback came and went Saturday. OU conducted its Media Day at Owen Field. Head coach Bob Stoops and co-offensive Josh Heupel had clear shots to name “the guy” for the 2013 season.
Both passed, sticking with what’s become a tradition for the Sooners. Without an established starter, the job must be earned throughout the preseason. It’s the way Sam Bradford won the job. Good enough for him, good enough for junior Blake Bell or redshirt freshman Trevor Knight.
“When we chose Sam Bradford, they knew seven days before kickoff, basically. That worked out pretty well. Whenever the guy earns the job, that's when we'll name a guy,” Heupel said. “I think the way that all of our guys at that position have approached everything that they do on and off the field, in the meeting room, the way that they compete in the weight room, their discipline, their toughness, their approach. They have the respect of everybody on our football team. Whoever ends up being the guy, I think our guys are going to have a lot of confidence in him.”
They’ll only have confidence in the guy that leads the Sooners to victories. In that sense, only Bell has done any on-the-field inspiring. He’s never thrown a touchdown pass, but the 24 touchdowns he’s scored over the previous two seasons carry weight.
But Bell has always tried to carry himself like he was the catalyst for the Sooners’ offense. Landry Jones still threw the passes, but Bell believed his time to run the offense was coming.
Jones played his final game in January. Since then, Bell has known this is his time to take the reins. No longer was he working with the second-team receivers in seven-on-seven drills.