Few details emerge from early stages of OU quarterback competition
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
3/13/13 at 8:03 AM
NORMAN - The question of the day was easy following Oklahoma's practice on Tuesday night.
How is the quarterback derby shaping up after three spring workouts?
Sterling Shepard was asked if too much was being made about the three-man competition.
"It's hard to say," the sophomore wide receiver said. "It's a competition and I know everyone wants to know who is going to be the starting quarterback. We're going to find out, just be patient."
The Sooners have no clear leader in the race to replace Landry Jones.
Everyone from co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel to numerous teammates of Blake Bell, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson gave good reports following Tuesday's full-pad workout.
Fans won't be hearing directly from the quarterbacks as they have been placed off-limits from media until the April 13 Spring Game.
So how are things going at OU's most important position?
"All three of those guys have had really good days. They've all made mistakes, but they've all made really good plays as well," Heupel said. "The guy that ultimately is going to be our quarterback is the guy that makes a mistake and learns from it and doesn't repeat it.
"Competition is exciting at that position and it transcends through the entire offense. They all had great winters and, for three days, they've done a lot of positive things here."
The quarterbacks have received turns working with the first-team offense. There have been some wrinkles introduced to take advantage of the group's athletic ability.
"Whoever our guy is, we're going to do things that they have a chance to be successful with and be comfortable with and can execute at a high level," Heupel said. "Our guys may be able to use their feet a little bit more than we have in the past here and we'll find ways to utilize that skill."
Trey Millard said Bell, Knight and Thompson are taking command of the offense.
"All three quarterbacks are definitely getting on guys because they want to be that guy and that the guys around them have to perform well for them to look good," Millard said. "Just that, that added competitiveness, is what's changed in practice."
Jalen Saunders said he's learning subtle differences between the quarterbacks.
"Everybody moves differently from everybody," Saunders said. "All three have shown great signs throwing and what passes they can make and what runs they can make ... good reads and good throws ...
"Like I said, it's been a great competition. I'm just looking forward to it in the spring, summer and fall and see who ends up being the starter."
Harlem Shake: The OU football team took time after practice to take part in the latest Internet craze by making a Harlem Shake video. The 45-second video includes former Heisman Trophy winners Steve Owens and Billy Sims, as well as Barry Switzer (wearing his fur coat) and Brian Bosworth. See it at tulsaworld.com/OUharlemshake
Ikard works out: Senior Gabe Ikard was held from contact but went through individual drills on Tuesday. The two-time All-Big 12 first-team offensive lineman suffered a broken finger in Sunday's practice. He wore a heavy bandage around his right hand.
Pro day: Oklahoma is scheduled to have 26 participants at Wednesday's pro day, including outgoing seniors Landry Jones and Lane Johnson. Former OU standouts Reggie Smith and Brian Jackson will participate in the workout.
OU spring football schedule
(All practices closed to public)
March: 14, 25, 27, 29
April: 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 16.
Spring game: April 13, 2 p.m.
Original Print Headline: Answers must wait on OU QBs
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
There is no clear leader in OU's quarterback competition, which includes Blake Bell (above), Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World