Knight with full support from OU program

OU QB Trevor Knight (Photo: Soonersports.com)

Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight might have been a shocking name for OU fans to hear as starting quarterback, but he has the full support from the players and coaches.

Many people were surprised when redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight was named Oklahoma's starting quarterback last week.

OU coach Bob Stoops wasn't one of them. When asked if Stoops had any idea Knight would be able to start so soon, he didn't mince his words.

"I would say any guy we sign we would anticipate them to be able to play at this level," Stoops said. "As with young Cody Thomas, we're really excited about what he's able to do."

Knight is headed into unknown territory Saturday when he takes the field for the Sooners' opener against ULM. Most thought it would be junior Blake Bell getting his first opportunity to make an impact with his arm instead of just his legs.

Nobody had any real idea just how legit of a competition this was until a couple of weeks ago when rumblings started to swirl that it was Knight who was making the plays. It was Knight who was more consistent.

Linebacker Corey Nelson saw it coming after last season.

"We will get together sometimes after practice, and we would just talk how Trevor was tearing it up out there on scout team," Nelson said. "He's going to be the next big thing coming. We've got to look out for him."

Doing it with the scout team and doing it in front of 80,000 fans are two totally different things. But senior captain Gabe Ikard said OU fans have nothing to worry about.

"Both of those guys battled each other really hard, but Trevor, a couple of plays and a couple of scrimmages, he made some really big plays with his feet and with his arm," Ikard said. "Just really impressive stuff. He is a very gifted athlete."

And he brings a new dimension to OU's offense. There's no doubt Landry Jones was a great quarterback at OU, but the dual-threat capabilities of Knight have people salivating.

At this point, nobody knows if this multidimensional part of the offense will improve things, but it has brought back some excitement back to the Sooners.

It's not just fans, though. Senior running back Brennan Clay got excited, too, when talking about playing with a quarterback who can make plays just as much with his legs as he can with his arm.

"I love it," Clay said. "I've been waiting for that. Out of high school, I played with Tate Forcier. He made plays with his feet, and it just opens up the offense. It's one more guy the defense has to account for.

"It opens up the run game for us running back. Once the run game opens up, it opens up the passing game and you can hit them across the board."

Stoops said earlier this week there is no such thing as easing into the offense. He expects Knight to run the offense to the best of his capabilities and put the team in the best position to win.

He said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has come up with some plans for Knight to use the plays and formations he is most comfortable with. It was Knight's consistency that won him the job to go along with his playmaking. All Stoops is hoping for is more of that.

There is no secret piece of advice to give Knight, Hepuel said. It's about being mentally tough just as much as being physically tough.

"It's still football," said Heupel on his advice to Knight. "It's still 11 on 11. You've got to enjoy and appreciate it, but once you cross the white line, you've got to buckle down your chin strap. There are going to be ups and downs, but you've got to continue to play ball."

Test No. 1 comes Saturday night.

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