Who says the back up quarterback can't be the leader of a football team?
Strange to think of a scenario in which that is true, but down in Norman that is exactly what has happened. From winning the starting job in 2013 and leading Oklahoma to a Sugar Bowl win, to getting blown out by Clemson in the Athletic Bowl, and now being the second string quarterback/team captain. Knight has had quite the journey at Oklahoma.
Knight, who will be a junior this fall, has officially lost the starting job in favor of former Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield. But Knight is still one of the main leaders in the locker room, at least according to his teammates who elected Knight as their team captain for the second straight season despite not getting the starting gig.
It's somewhat of a consolation prize for a player who's scored 31 touchdowns in 18 games and had an 11-2 starting record before the blow up late last season. Last year was tough for Knight, but some thought he would still retain the starting job this season. But I think Mayfield may be more ready for this type of offense than Knight, who had to learn this offense for the first time. Team captain is about leadership, not playbooks, and that quality has never been questioned about Knight. There's a reason head coach Bob Stoops took him to media days this off-season although he didn't choose him as the starter.
But even if Knight isn't the starter at Oklahoma against Akron in a couple of weeks, he will be a leader that players will respect and look up to. And if his number is eventually called, the players will be behind him every step of the way.
Other team captains selected were seniors Ty Darlington (center), Nila Kasitati (right guard), Eric Striker (linebacker) and Charles Tapper (defensive end). It's somewhat surprising that Sterling Shepard didn't become one, but perhaps the players are trying to install confidence to their offensive linemen who had some questions heading into the fall. Striker and Knight were both team captains last season as well.