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August 27, 2013

Coaching staff, players come to defense of starting quarterback selection

NORMAN — The decision to go with Trevor Knight at starting quarterback is going to be analyzed until the redshirt freshman shows why he beat out junior Blake Bell for Oklahoma’s quarterback job.

Since Knight’s only public showing was April’s spring game, there isn’t much to judge.

However, his teammates and head coach gave their insight into what he’ll bring to the table Monday.

“The things he can do on the run are very impressive,” OU center Gabe Ikard said. “He’s very athletic and when he gets in the open field he can go. There were several moments in camp where you knew he was fast.”

OU coach Bob Stoops, who made his first public comments since naming Knight the starter last week, said it wasn’t one particular aspect or trait that won Knight the job. It was an entire body of work.

“I think it’s just fair to say that overall, through all these practices, there’s just been a little more consistency in the different areas that we’ve been looking for,” Stoops said.

Whatever it is that won Knight the job will be on display when the 16th-ranked Sooners play host to Louisiana-Monroe Saturday in the season opener.

The game will unveil all the changes OU has made since the 2012 season ended with a blowout loss to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

One of the major changes expected are all the intangibles that go along with a quarterback who can run.

“He’s a freak athlete. He’s really fast,” fullback Trey Millard said. “You saw a little bit of that in some of the spring game. He can definitely run the ball and run it quickly. As far as the quarterback stuff goes he’s a great thrower. He’s still learning some of the reads. He’s still growing as a player, but he’s going to be a good one.”

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