Oklahoma is expected to name its starting quarterback sometime this week. Either Blake Bell or Trevor Knight will become the eighth starting quarterback during Bob Stoops’ 15 seasons as the Sooners’ head coach.
Here’s a timeline of how the first seven starters were named and what they went on to do.
Josh Heupel (1999-2000): OU goes through a massive shift in offensive philosophy with the hiring of Bob Stoops as head coach and his decision to bring in Mike Leach as offensive coordinator. Leach’s first recruit is Snow (Utah) Junior College quarterback Josh Heupel, who is named the starter during spring practice. Heupel starts the next 25 games, leading the Sooners to the 2000 national championship.
Nate Hybl (2001-2002): wins the starting job after a spring and preseason competition with Jason White. Hybl starts the first six games, but is supplanted by White midway through the season. Season-ending knee injuries suffered by White in both the 2001 and 2002 seasons quickly give the job back to Hybl. He starts the final 12 games and leads the Sooners to the Big 12 championship and a Rose Bowl victory.
Jason White (2001-2004): took over as OU’s starting quarterback midway through the 2001 season. His tenure as starting quarterback only lasts two games due a season-ending knee injury suffered against Nebraska. The job is his again at the start of the 2002 season, but a knee injury suffered in the second game cuts his year short. In 2003, White is named the starter for a third time in the preseason and leads OU for the next two years and back-to-back berths in the national championship game. Along the way, White wins the 2003 Heisman Trophy and leads OU to an undefeated regular season in 2004 and a Big 12 championship.
Paul Thompson (2005-2006): As a junior, Thompson is named the starter in 2005 after a spring and preseason duel with redshirt freshman Rhett Bomar and sophomore Tommy Grady. He holds the job for just one game — a 17-10 season-opening loss to TCU — before losing the job. Thompson gets the position back in 2006 after Bomar is kicked off the team for accepting impermissible benefits from a booster. Thompson leads the Sooners to an 11-3 record and a Big 12 title in 2006.
Rhett Bomar (2005): The OU coaching staff quickly turned to Bomar after the season-opening loss to TCU in 2005. Bomar’s future looks very bright after the Sooners win eight of their last 11 games, including a 17-14 win over Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. However, it turned out to be Bomar’s final game at OU.
Sam Bradford (2007-2009): Sam Bradford, then a redshirt freshman, wins a three-way competition with junior college transfer Joey Halzle and true freshman Keith Nichol. Bradford is named the starter less than two weeks prior to the start of the season. He goes on start the next 29 games, leading OU to Big 12 championships in 2007 and 2008 and claim the 2008 Heisman Trophy.
Landry Jones (2009-2012): The redshirt freshman inherits the job after Bradford suffers a separated shoulder in the 2009 season opener. Bradford returns three games later and leads the Sooners to a 33-7 victory over Baylor. Jones reassumes the starting role when Bradford injuries the same shoulder the following week against Texas. Jones goes on to start the next 47 games, leading OU to the 2010 Big 12 championship.