According to The Oklahoman’s Jason Kersey, Bell, a senior who was converted from quarterback to tight end this offseason, has been “splitting some of his time this week in practice” between tight end and quarterback. Kersey is reporting that Bell’s reps at quarterback, which have been “limited,” have only been against OU’s second-team defense.
Behind starter Trevor Knight, Sooners head coach Bob Stoops has said that redshirt freshman Cody Thomas would likely be the No. 2 quarterback, but Kersey is reporting that Thomas has an unknown injury that “isn’t believed to be serious.”
With that said, Bell, who threw for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, is seen as an option at quarterback if Knight goes down and Thomas can’t play.
Additionally, Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield is also on the Sooners’ roster. Mayfield started seven games for the Red Raiders last season as a walk-on true freshman and threw for more than 2,300 yards, but has been involved in a messy transfer situation. Mayfield decided to transfer to OU when he learned there was no guarantee he’d be the starter in 2014. Since then, TTU has blocked Mayfield’s ability to receive a scholarship from Oklahoma throughout the summer, forcing him to walk on to the Sooners’ roster.
As of Thursday night, multiple outlets are reporting that Tech “will no longer block” Mayfield from receiving an Oklahoma scholarship, but with the season a week away, the move is seen as “an empty gesture.”
A source close to Mayfield told The Oklahoman that Texas Tech waited too long to act, meaning Mayfield can’t receive an OU scholarship this fall. Also, Texas Tech remains staunch in their opposition to Mayfield being able to play this season for the Sooners.
So with the depth at quarterback at Oklahoma in a state of flux, there are worse options than having a guy with a bevy of experience like Bell.
Knight originally beat out Bell as starter at the beginning of 2013, but the two split reps throughout the season with Bell making eight starts. Knight, a redshirt sophomore, took the reins of the quarterback position with an MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. That prompted the decision to move the 6-foot-6, 252-pound Bell to tight end.
In Bell’s first two seasons, he was predominantly used at QB in short-yardage running packages. He scored 24 touchdowns on the ground, and was given the nickname “Belldozer.” Bell has shown his athleticism, and by all accounts he has picked up the tight end position well. He’ll stay at tight end, but it’s definitely not the worst idea to get him some reps just in case.
For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.
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