Bumped From FanPosts
Not sure about the rest of you, but football of any kind cannot get here soon enough. Our men's basketball team struggles have been well documented and has caused this to be one of the most brutal football off seasons in several years. Not to take anything away from the women, who have been even more successful than many expected so definite props to them. Both baseball and softball has also started out hot and I strongly encourage anyone who can to go out and support them both this season.
All that said, spring football is a little over a week away so I thought it would be fun to kind of break it down by position and see what my fellow Sooner fans are expecting/looking forward to. So without further adieu . . .
I figured what better way to get it started. These intro videos always give me chills before every game. There's truly nothing else like it.
There are some positions and/or players that will demand a more in depth look than others, so if there's anything you feel wasn't discussed enough feel free to add it to the comments. This team has a ton of talent and I fully expect them to capitalize on it with a big time bounce back year. The conference shapes up very well for us to get conference championship #7 under Coach Stoops and put a long overdue end to the current streak in Dallas. We continue to have one of the toughest schedules in the country with three legit non-conference games. Their are arguments both for and against a schedule like OU puts out every year, but my personal opinion is OU should continue to schedule competitive non-conference games. Sure there might be another South school (who shall remain nameless) who routinely assembles a complete joke of a non-conference schedule and yet it never seems to hurt them in the rankings or national perception. I prefer to think that OU is held to a higher standard and ultimately will more often than not benefit from playing a tough non-con rather than four cupcakes. Regardless, it all starts in the spring so we'll do the same starting with the QB breakdown.
The Starter: Landry Jones 6'4"-216-RS SO
Landry had an up and down 2009 season that saw him excel at times and struggle at others. He comes into the 2010 season as the established starter with the opportunity that spring ball provides to work on several things before summer break. The first and most important thing I think he and Coach Heupel will focus on is not locking onto to his receiver. Landry struggled with this throughout most of the season which unfortunately helped Landry lead the Big XII in INTs. Another key factor that led to that stat and something else Landry needs to work on this spring is working through his progression and utilizing all of his receivers, not just Ryan Broyles. We saw some improvement in both those respects late in the season, namely the bowl game, so there is plenty of reason for optimism. Landry very likely knows the job is his to lose and is unlikely to be pushed by his primary backup, who we'll discuss in a minute, and the fact that Blake Bell won't be on campus till the fall. So there is the slight fear that Landry will be a little complacent this spring. However, from an outsider's perspective Landry does not appear at all to be that kind of a kid so I expect him to compete like he still has plenty to prove. Mainly because he does have plenty to prove after a successful as well as somewhat inconsistent freshman year under center. I think we'd all like to see a lot more performances like this out of Landry:
Oklahoma vs. Tulsa Highlights - 9/19/09 (HD) (via HolaKyle)
The Backup: Drew Allen 6'5"-225-RS FR
The general consensus on Drew Allen can be summarized fairly easily - ??? There are a lot of questions with very few answers at this point. Allen spent 2009 redshirting and learning the OU offense. The coaches have had pretty much nothing but good things to say about him since his arrival, but we fans have had virtually no opportunity to see him in action. He expects to get a ton of snaps this spring and will be given every chance to prove he can be a capable backup to Landry. There is an outside shot that he wows the coaches and actually pushes Landry for the starting spot, but that is a very slim chance. According to some close to the program, he has an excellent reputation and is routinely putting in extra work with Coach Heupel. It will be an important spring for Drew to solidify himself as the #2 before Blake Bell arrives in the fall. For those of you (pretty much everyone) who have never seen Drew play, here is a highlight video for your enjoyment. You can clearly tell the kid has a big arm and is definitely no stiff back there.
QB Drew Allen #17 Alamo Heights *SIGNED LOI TO OKLAHOMA* (SR Highlights) (via CountdownCityPreps)
The Future: Blake Bell 6'6"-215-FR
I think Coach Stoops sums him up pretty well, so I'll borrow a quote from an excellent CC post (http://www.crimsonandcreammachine.com/2010/2/3/1291963/notes-and-quotes-on-oklahomas-2010) from signing day.
"Blake Bell is a talented guy. When you look at his ability to throw the football, he is an excellent pocket quarterback which is a staple of what we do. I also think Blake is more athletic than maybe any quarterback we have signed as far as being able to pull the ball down and run. He is a guy I believe is going to be big enough, being 6'6", 220 pounds now, can be 250 easy, that you don't mind running six or seven times a game.
"We aren't going to run him much because we don't like our quarterbacks getting beat up for a lot of reasons. In the end we run them sparingly and I think he will have the physical presence to do it and he has the feet to do it. More than that we love the arm, you love he is a winner. He brought his team to the state championship game and lost but the guy had nine touchdowns in one game. He is also playing basketball and doing well so he is a great athlete.
"In the end we like the athlete that he is and we know he has a great upside but we like what we have seen already though. We like the way he throws the football and I would like to see what those experts said about Sam Bradford a year or two ago on how raw he might have been. In the end you like what you are working with and the winner he is. He comes from great blood lines when you look at his dad and this twin brother Mike, and how competitive they were for so long. He's got all the intangibles we believe as well." - Bob Stoops on Quarterback Blake Bell
I don't know about you, but a 6'6" 250lb. QB who can move like Bell sounds pretty darn good to me. The sky is the limit for this kid in my opinion. He comes from an NFL family so he clearly has the pedigree to be the next great OU QB. This past year was only his second as his high school's starting QB (previously played WR), so to expect him to come in and do anything significant in 2010 is pretty unrealistic. He is almost guaranteed to redshirt this year get some experience learning the offense. As you'll see in this video, there is plenty to be excited about when it comes to Blake Bell.
Blake Bell's 2009 senior season highlights (via dabyes42)
Well my friends, that was the first installment of many so I hope you enjoyed it. As you can see, OU is loaded at QB for many years to come and that's without mentioning the 2011 verbal we've already secured from Southmoore QB Kendal Thompson. Short of a significant injury (furiously knocking on wood) we should have nothing to worry about regarding the QB position in the near future. As always all comments are welcome and I hope you're all as excited as I am about 2010 OU football.