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March 13, 2013

Shinn at 3: QB derby brings different feeling to spring practice

NORMAN — Oklahoma has gone through three spring practice sessions, but the fact that none have included an established starting quarterback has each of them unique.

The quarterback competition between Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight draws everyone’s attention, especially their teammates.

“It’s different,” fullback Trey Millard said of going through practices without Landry Jones as OU’s No. 1 quarterback for the first time since 2009. “When you have a guy who was like 100 percent the guy, it’s just a different feel, you can’t really explain it. When guys are out there competing, it’s really interesting and fun to see that they’re working, because they know their spot’s not guaranteed. I’m not saying Landry didn’t compete out there, but it’s just different.”

How can it not be?

Jones, who worked out for NFL scouts Wednesday at OU’s Pro Day, spent the previous three springs as the focal point of the Sooner offense. The uncertainty a quarterback derby brings has raised the players’ interest.

“I pay attention to it a lot and like to egg it on and really push them and see who wants it more and wants to break out,” running back Damien Williams said. “No one has broke out yet.”

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