Blake Bell‘s full-time transition to tight end has been put on a slight hiatus.
Bell is still projected to become the Sooners’ starting tight end this season, but he’s also working at quarterback with Oklahoma’s second-team, according to The Oklahoman.
“Earlier this week, coach Bob Stoops said redshirt freshman Cody Thomas would likely be Knight’s primary backup, but according to sources, Thomas has been injured, which is why Bell has split second-team reps this week with true freshman Justice Hansen,” Jason Kersey reported.
Last season, only the Kansas Jayhawks had a worse passing offense in the Big 12 Conference than the Oklahoma Sooners. Bell played in 11 games and started eight at quarterback. He averaged a meager 149.8 yards passing in those contests.
Oklahoma’s coaching staff eventually inserted Trevor Knight into the lineup, and the freshman took full advantage of the situation with a stellar performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
This move isn’t meant to be permanent. It’s merely an opportunity to have an experienced signal caller ready if Knight were to be injured at any point during the season.
There is also an opportunity for the Sooners to revive the “Belldozer.” During Bell’s redshirt freshman and sophomore compaigns, he was a unstoppable in short-yardage situations. Bell rushed for 24 touchdowns prior to last season. Yet, he never took full advantage of his athleticism as the team’s full-time starting quarterback.
This opportunity may be a best-case scenario for Bell. He will continue to develop at tight end as one of the team’s primary targets, and he may even return to the role that made once made him a household game.
Thomas isn’t expected to miss a lot of practice time, though, and Bell’s reps at quarterback will likely cease upon his return. The Sooners should also expect the status of Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield to be clarified very soon.
Texas Tech no longer blocking OU's ability to give QB Baker Mayfield scholarship, per team spokesman. Won't be walk-on if Sooners have spot
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 22, 2014
A week from now the Sooners will have plenty of depth at quarterback.