The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 7, 2014

Sooners riding high; meanwhile, Browns court Stoops

NEW ORLEANS — OU coach Bob Stoops talked optimistically about the future Friday morning. The afterglow from Thursday night’s 45-31 victory over No. 3 Alabama was still apparent. So was the fact that the Sooners had wrapped up an 11-2 season, finished it with back-to-back wins over top six teams — Oklahoma State and Alabama — and that the overwhelming majority of the team will be back next season, including redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight.

“There’s more than just him,” Stoops said when asked if Knight’s emergence changes the complexion of the program. “All the players around him. All the players coming back make a big difference.”

However, he elected not to quickly squash the rumor he’s a candidate for the Cleveland Browns. There have been several reports linking him to the job in the last two days and they really increased when OU built its two-touchdown lead Thursday night against the Crimson Tide.

“You never know,” Stoops said Friday morning when I asked him about the rumors.

That’s the stock answer he has given for years when asked about potential job openings. Stoops has six seasons left on his current contract, which pays him slightly less than $5 million per season. But there is no buyout in it. He’s free to leave whenever he wants.

However, Stoops talked glowingly about the future in terms of recruiting and what he has coming back at OU.

What’s next for Bell?: Trevor Knight solidified himself as the Sooners’ quarterback of the future Thursday night. The MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl ended the discussion. Although, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel grinned and said “We’ll see” when asked if the top spot on the depth chart was solidified.

But OU coach Bob Stoops said he’ll discuss all options with backup quarterback Blake Bell. The junior is on course to graduate in the spring and could transfer to another FBS school and be eligible to play next season.

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