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Oklahoma Sooners Spring Football Preview | Quarterbacks

More than anything else this spring, the Oklahoma Sooners have to get something worked out at the quarterback position. A new offensive scheme to spread the field and work the ball in space is actually a return to Bob Stoops' roots at OU but to find the same level of success he enjoyed the Sooners need a signal caller who can make snap decisions, put the ball on target, and lead the team with confidence.

Brett Deering/Getty Images

In what looks to be a wide open position battle this spring, Oklahoma's quarterback depth chart is sure to get mixed around more than a few times before things get settled. Will there be a named starter come mid-April? Most likely not. There's bound to be a sure pecking order between these four candidates though,

The Incumbent - RSo. Trevor Knight

Whatever credits Trevor Knight racked up with his Sugar Bowl performance against Alabama are long gone. Oklahoma's junior-to-be quarterback was absolutely mediocre in 2014. Where OU fans were hoping to get the heroic Trevor Knight from New Orleans, they instead got sporadic Trevor Knight with a 56.6 completion percentage and a 14 touchdowns to 12 interceptions ratio...not to mention a propensity to get injured.

Knight should be at the front of a long line of ambassadors but there's no reason that he should be at the front of Oklahoma's quarterback position. He may end up being the Sooners' best option at signal caller because of his experience but he'll have to prove it against a field of competition that is going to be pretty salty.

The Frontrunner - So. Baker Mayfield

There's a mystery to Baker Mayfield. A 6-2/209 sophomore from Austin, Texas (of all places) was Oklahoma's Scout Team Player of the Year in 2014 but was ineligible to play because of the NCAA transfer rule. Previously he was the 2013 Big 12 Freshman of the Year when he passed for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions for Texas Tech in eight starts.

The mystery is what can he do at Oklahoma? Like Knight, he has experience and he had the best performance of any of the quarterbacks in last year's spring game. Is he the answer for Lincoln Riley's new offensive scheme though? We may be about to find out.

The Dark Horse - RFr. Cody Thomas

Cody Thomas is serious enough about Oklahoma's quarterback race that he quit baseball in order to give his full attention to the gridiron. Number two on the depth chart in 2014, Thomas is likely to slide down a notch in 2015 because most feel that this battle is mostly between Trevor Knight and Baker Mayfield. Don't count Thomas out as a contestant though. He showed poise last year while filling in while Knight was out due to injury but what he didn't show was a firm grasp of the offensive scheme and sound decision making. His 45.5% completion rate and two touchdowns to four interceptions are clear indicators of this.

However, a clean slate is what Lincoln Riley has brought to Norman. All he needs is a good trigger man and Thomas may have just the type of arm that he's looking for. If he can make the right read/decision there's no reason to think that he can't be in the hunt. Cody Thomas may be the third wheel right know but you can bank on the fact that he'll get a solid look and a fair shake.

The Question Mark - Fr. Justice Hansen

Of all the quarterbacks on the roster, Justice Hansen may find himself in the most awkward of spots. He was recruited for the new "mobile quarterback" offense that Josh Heupel was trying to implement but that offense never gained traction and Hansen sat as a redshirt in 2015. He falls in the same mold as Trevor Knight in that the skill set of Mayfield and Thomas may be better suited for the new offense but he's young and has more time to develop.

Projected Post Spring Practice QB Depth Chart

1. Baker Mayfield

2. Trevor Knight

3. Cody Thomas

4. Justice Hansen