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Mailbag: The Ramifications Of Naming A Freshman As Starter

Naming Trevor Knight as the starting quarterback would put Blake Bell in an extremely difficult situation.


The talk in the Sooner Nation over the last several days has heated up over the last several days with rumors leaking out that redshirt freshman Trevor Knight is on the cusp of being named as Oklahoma's starting quarterbacks. Of course the decision to name anyone as the starting quarterback is going to have its ramifications but a freshman could even increase the stakes.

Obviously we trust the coaches to make the decision that is in the best interest of the program, and if Knight is the guy the so be it. However, don't think it won't come without a price. That's the topic of our latest mailbag conversation.

Regarding the possibility of Trevor Knight being named QB 1, what would that do to Blake Bell?  Would he transfer?  How about the other, younger QB's like Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen?  Do they see Knight as a four-year starter?  I know there's limited practice info. out there, but, in your opinion, has Bell not played well, or has Knight simply done better?  Here I was thinking Bell could possibly be a long-shot Heisman candidate if all went well.  I've never been a fan of running QB's, and truly hated watching Manziel, but I guess that's what OU may look like for the foreseeable future. - Dan

If Knight wins the starting job it puts Bell in a difficult situation with some limited options. He's a redshirt junior and it's too late for him to transfer to anywhere this season. His options are to go to a lower division, or NAIA, to play somewhere else next season. Because the NCAA requires athletes to sit out a year, his only chance to play at the FBS level is to graduate and use his 5th year of eligibility elsewhere like Drew Allen did at Syracuse. Other than that, he would just have to tough it out as a career backup.

The younger guys have a lot more options. Thomas could transfer anywhere he wanted to and still have two years of eligibility after sitting one out after the transfer. The guy to watch is Justice Hansen who is still a senior in high school. He hasn't signed a letter of intent so he's free to attend whichever school he pleases. The question that he has to answer is, does he love Oklahoma enough to go there knowing that he won't get to compete for a starting job for three years? There certainly could be a large ripple effect from a decision like this.

If Knight truly does get the job, it'll most likely be his until he leaves. He doesn't have the prototypical Sam Bradford type body that would lead you to believe he'd leave after a junior season. He's apparently quite the playmaker though. He's been praised for making incredible plays in practices (with the occasional gambler's mistake) while Bell has been described as hesitant and a guy who plays it safe.

In my opinion, the move to Knight would mark a significant change in the offensive game plan. He's a totally different athlete than Landry Jones and even Blake Bell. It certainly looks as if the age of the running quarterback has certainly begun at OU.

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