The Norman Transcript

OU Football

March 7, 2014

Knight assumes role as top signal caller on depth chart to open spring practice

(Continued)

NORMAN —

It will be a busy spring for Thomas. He’s playing baseball as well. Fitting football practices among a baseball schedule gobbles up his afternoons six days a week — not to mention road games — isn’t simple.

Stoops said it’ll be up to offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, baseball coach Pete Hughes and Thomas, who’s had just four at-bats and played a handful of innings in right field thus far, to find a schedule that works.

“I don’t see it being a problem. I see it being something we’ll all have to manage with coach Pete and Josh. They’ve already communicated really well through the winter here,” Stoops said. “We want him to have success at both and I know they want him to, too. We’ll do the best we can to manage it. Again, so far it hasn’t been a problem.”

Hansen is still just three months removed from his last high school game at Edmond Santa Fe. But since he enrolled in school early, the spring will be a very intense introduction to college football. Stoops said it will likely be the most work an early freshman enrollee has ever received.

“Watching Justice workout, he physically fits the part of being here and belonging so we’ll be excited to get him those snaps and see how he does,” Stoops said.

Ideally this spring will not be one where the quarterbacks are slipping up and down the depth chart. OU believes that is solidified. Hansen may have great potential, but OU has redshirted every freshman quarterback during Stoops’ tenure. That is the plan for Hansen in the fall.

Reality, however, has shown more than one quarterback is necessary to get through a season. Knight is the guy. Developing the potential he showed at the end of the 2013 season is essential this spring. So is coming up with Plan B.

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