The Oklahoma Sooners closed spring practices last month in dire need of depth at quarterback. The situation has changed dramatically in the course of a couple weeks, with two signal callers taking two significantly different paths to join the squad. Neither is going to push Dillon Gabriel at the top of the depth chart, but the two newcomers fill glaring holes in the roster.
Background: OU head coach Brent Venables likely became acquainted with Beville when he was a three-star recruit out of Greenville, South Carolina. After enrolling at Pittsburgh in the summer of 2019, Beville sat behind Kenny Pickett for three years. He took a redshirt in his first season and then rarely saw the field in 2020 and 2021.
Beville’s most extensive action with the Panthers came against Michigan State in the Peach Bowl at the end of last season. He completed 14-of-18 pass attempts for 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception versus the Spartans.
Biggest question: Why did Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi recruit USC transfer Kedon Slovis to join the Panthers?
There’s no shame in waiting your turn behind a QB like Pickett – the Pittsburgh Steelers just selected him in the first round of the NFL draft. The Panthers welcoming Slovis this offseason, on the other hand, hints at concerns among the program’s coaching staff regarding Beville’s development. It’s also worth mentioning that Beville sat third on the Pitt depth chart last season, behind both Pickett and upperclassman Nick Patti.
If Narduzzi felt comfortable playing Beville or Patti this year, it wouldn’t make much make sense for the Panthers to add Slovis. Right?
Outlook at OU: Beville has the inside track for the second line on the QB depth chart once preseason practice starts. He looks like a solid passer with good size (6-6, 235 pounds), and he can probably run well enough to call the zone read on occasion if he’s in the game.
If Gabriel decides to return in 2023, Beville may opt to look for another home.
Background: In addition to headlining college football all-name team, General is the latest member of the Booty lineage to emerge in the college football world. His father, Abram, played wide receiver at LSU in the 1990s. His uncle Josh was coveted in high school as a prospect in both football and baseball when the Florida Marlins selected him fifth overall in the 1994 Major League Baseball draft, and he later played QB at LSU. Another uncle, John David, started at QB for USC in 2006 and 2007 before the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 2008.
General played at multiple schools before eventually settling in at Texas powerhouse Allen High School for his senior season in 2020. Last year, he quarterbacked Tyler Junior College.
Biggest question: Can Booty play at this level?
According to the 247Sports profile of OU’s newest QB commit, he has held scholarship offers at different points in time from schools like New Mexico, Presbyterian and Liberty. He’s coming joining the Sooners after a season in junior college, which seems rare these days for QBs playing on the FBS level. He played at one of the elite prep programs in the country, and his family is well-known in college football circles.
To put this diplomatically: If Booty develops into a Sooners-caliber starting quarterback, it would represent an all-time misevaluation by an untold number of football coaches and scouts.
Outlook at OU: Practically speaking, Booty probably has nothing to lose by trading in that JUCO life for a spot on the OU roster, even if the possibility of seeing meaningful snaps with the Sooners seems remote. Assuming he doesn’t develop into anything more than a reserve, he can always transfer elsewhere down the line. With a name like that, there may even be some NIL money in it for him at a place like OU.
The reality is that OU needed bodies at QB to step in for Gabriel in case of emergency and to practice. That fact alone limited the universe of QBs who would be available to the Sooners in this transfer cycle. The good news is that Beville and Booty don't have to grow into difference-making QBs to play the roles needed at OU.