Knight turns heads on scout team in 2012

NORMAN, Okla. — Every year there's young players that impress during bowl preparation practices, but for one Sooner, he's been doing that the whole season.

Scout team quarterback Trevor Knight has turned heads all around the Sooner locker room since arriving on campus back in August.

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound freshman, who has played the part of opposing quarterbacks week after week, was recently named one of two scout team offensive players of the year (the other was wide receiver Derrick Woods).

According to teammates, he's been on point with his passes in the pocket, made throws on the run, shown the ability to scramble and come up with plays with his feet and just downright dazzled in all of those respects at times.

Defensive end R.J. Washington describes a play he made the other day where he plopped his feet set on the run and fired downfield for a huge play.

"I don't know what day it was, it was a couple weeks ago—he was running, he was scrambling, he planted in the ground, he just jumped up and it looked like he was playing basketball," Washington said. "He just threw a ball downfield and I just looked. [I said], ‘Who does that?'"

He hit his target right in the numbers.

Apparently it's not the only time he's done it, either.

And it's far from the only impressive type of play he can run.

"He does a lot of things during practice that you just look and you're like, ‘Freshmen shouldn't be doing that,'" Washington said. "He throws a pretty ball. He's fast. He runs zone read very well. You know, when we were practicing at the beginning of the season we didn't really know Trevor like that. We didn't know he was like the new scout team quarterback basically, and there was a couple times at the beginning of the year when he just like rolled it down and ran off and took off and all we could do is look back and like, ‘Ah, God.'

"Just hear Coach Wright come up and start yelling at you. But Trevor, I'm telling you Trevor is going to be good. Trevor is going to be really good."

How good?

Well, everybody knows the stable of elite quarterbacks that have run through Norman in recent years, including a pair of Heisman Trophy winners in Jason White and Sam Bradford, a national championship signal caller in Josh Heupel and three-time bowl winner and two-time Big 12 Champion as well as the program's all-time leading passer in Landry Jones.

But the senior Sooner defensive end compares him to a very popular and now famous freshman signal caller just a few hours south of here.

One they'll see here in a few days: Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny "Football" Manziel.

"They play a lot of the same way," Washington said. "I feel like Trevor throws the ball a lot. Like Trevor will throw the ball before he'll run it, but he's not mad at running the ball at all. Like he likes to run. I feel like Manziel likes to run a little bit more than Trevor likes to, but it's pretty close."

Those are lofty expectations for a guy who has only played a year of scout team with no live game action at the collegiate level.

But there's no doubt the sentiments are felt across the board.

"I think Trevor has a chance to make [a run], bring some noise," said OU cornerback Aaron Colvin. "Trevor honestly is a great quarterback, and I'm very curious to see what he does in the future because I feel like he does have a bright future. But I know personally when we go against him against the scout team he makes throws that are kinda unreal, so it's kinda exciting watching him."

Said defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland, who's also had to chase him some in the pocket: "He's gonna be a real sound quarterback because he throws those balls across body and stuff that you don't expect him to make. And so he's kept us on our toes and he's been a great factor with us throughout the year. He hasn't had his name called on the weekend, but during the week I mean he's doing things that you wouldn't expect from a scout team guy."

And as good as it is to have teammates toot your horn, all the praise really elevates to the next level once your position coach gets in on the praise.

Heupel did so the other day.

"He's been really good," Heupel said. "You know, he's named scout team player of the year, which is extremely important. It tells you the way he's approached every day, the way he's competed. And I think in talking to other players around the program, seeing defensive guys, they all believe that he's gonna be a really good player. So, that's important, too. Sometimes players know who the best players are before coaches get a chance to get their hands on them, too."

Around the program, just about everyone knows the potential of this guy.

It's through the roof.

Some have even speculated that it's a truly open quarterback battle between him and Blake Bell, with Kendal Thompson also there and Drew Allen possibly as well, should he stick around.

"I think it's between three people because Kendal is just as good as Trevor," Washington said. "You know what I mean? Just a little bit faster straight line wise. So, I think Kendal, Blake and Trevor are gonna have to fight for it. I don't think whoever wins it, I don't think you'll be mad at who's quarterback because they have a lot of—they're all just real versatile in their own ways.

"You know, Blake likes to run and get between the tackles and run people over. Then, if he breaks, great. And then Trevor and Kendal they're more run, shake you and they're gone or they're just throwing the ball. I'm kind of excited to see what happens to be honest with you."

It's safe to say Sooner fans are probably kind of excited to see how the 2012 scout team player of the year progresses, too.

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