Analyzing The Oklahoma QB Race Following The Red/White Game

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

All three of Oklahoma's quarterbacks had impressive moments in Saturday's annual spring game. They each found a receiver in the endzone for a score, and they each showed a fairly unique running style. With the Sooner offense poised to move to a mobile quarterback in 2013, naked bootlegs and QB draws were featured in abundance but so was arm strength and accuracy. The OU signal callers threw a combined 55 passes for four touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions.

While the coaching staff will still tell you that its an open competition (and rightfully so) there were several "tells" on Saturday afternoon that would certainly give indications as to where each quarterback stands on the non-existent depth chart.

Spring Game Stats

Player

C-Att

Yds

TD

Int

B. Bell

14-23

213

2

0

T. Knight

11-17

151

1

0

K. Thompson

8-15

86

1

0

Trevor Knight was impressive for a freshman and showed that he's got some serious upside. In the second half he got into a good rhythm with sophomore receiver Trey Metoyer and his touchdown pass was a dart into the back of the endzone to receiver Don Caudill.

"I went out here today and it was my first meaningful snaps in front of fans, which is a dream come true. I made a lot of mistakes and I made a few plays. The good thing is we don't play next week, we don't have a game, so we have the whole summer. As for the competition we're working hard every single day and like Coach Heupel's been saying the guy that makes the least mistakes is the guy who's going to lead the team. All three of us are going to push forward, we have fun together, and we're friends but like they said before it's a competition. I'm going to work my hardest in the summer and into fall camp and see where we end up." - RS Freshman Trevor Knight

There were also times where he absolutely looked like a freshman. He had an errant pass that should have been picked off by Trey Franks in the first half and then he committed the unpardonable sin of fumbling a snap on his own goal line in the second half. The storybook isn't closed on Knight as he still has a bright future ahead of him but now is not his time. You gotta like his moxie and competitive spirit but I feel that he's on the outside looking as far as this QB race goes.

Summer Work: Knight needs to work on ball security and decision making, as well as continue to gain knowledge of the offense. His arm strength is really good and will only get better. His decision making need to catch up with his arm.

Kendal Thompson may have the biggest upside of all three of the quarterbacks. His athleticism is unparalleled in the group and he showed off a stronger arm than most people thought.

The touchdown pass that he threw late in the game was a combination of his athletic ability and some luck. You could say that one leads to the other though.

"I'll have to watch the tape. You're never satisfied as a ball player. There are some things I have to improve on and we'll just keep fixing that and move forward." - Kendal Thompson

With the incredible amount of athleticism that Thompson possesses he tends to lean on that a little more than he probably should. It got him out of a few jams in Saturday's spring game but it'll also cost Oklahoma some big plays if he continues to tuck the ball and run before making it all the way through his progressions.

Summer Work: Thompson needs to develop a bit more patience in the pocket and make scrambling a last instead of an natural tendency. He's made some progress on his delivery but still needs a bit of work there as well.

It may not be by a large margin but it appears that Blake Bell has a leg up on the competition. The biggest question mark surrounding him, going into this spring, was whether he could throw the ball with consistency. He's proven that he can and he seems to have the best grasp on the reigns of the offense, not to mention game experience.

"I thought I did ok. For me, I missed a couple of throws and some were on me, some were on the receivers and that's just something we'll correct as a team. We'll go in and watch film, figure out what we did wrong and take that into the summer. I think that'll help with that skill and stuff like that. Overall I thought I made some good plays and was pretty accurate with the ball. I had some throw-a -ways but like I said I can always get better in a lot of areas." - Blake Bell

The biggest of all three of the quarterbacks, Bell's massive 6-6/263 frame gives him the ability to run with power as opposed to elusiveness. Like a fullback, Bell would much rather run through you than around you. While its fun to see your quarterback truck over a linebacker or defensive back, its not something that you'd like to happen on a regular basis due to the risk of injury.

Summer Work: More than once this spring it has been noted that Bell has a tendency to hang on to the ball just a bit too long. Taking sacks is not something that you ever want to see your quarterback do but its especially heinous in an offense that is designed around a mobile quarterback. In exact opposite of Kendal Thompson, Bell needs to become quicker at making a decision with the ball.

The Skinny

Obviously the coaches are going to have to make a decision at some point as to who their quarterback is going to be. Its an understandably important decision because they're all underclassmen and whomever they select will most likely be the signal caller for multiple seasons. After watching the spring game you can understand why Blake Bell is in the front of the pack, but you can also understand why Kendal Thompson is in the mix. This decision was never going to be made during the spring but rather sometime just before August 31st. The team will hold their final practice of the spring today and then players will be set for summer workouts, absent their coaches. Not only will they develop physically they'll also have the opportunity to work on their leadership during that time as well. Its fair to say that what happens with these guys over the next three months will go a long way in determining who leads the offense onto the field for the first snap against Louisiana-Monroe.

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