Player in Focus: Trevor Knight

Quarterback looks to shine again in the spotlight of the big stage

It’s taken a while, but Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight has finally learned how to calm down.

For Knight, it’s all a continual maturation process.

Since coming to Oklahoma, Knight as had to learn to slide – understanding the purpose of each play. He has taken advantage of the talent around him, turning into a distributor in the process.

Most importantly, he’s learned that playing in a big game doesn’t require a big build up – at least not from him.

“That’s a week-to-week, day-to-day thing of calming down and seeing the reads back there and getting the ball in the playmakers’ hands,” he said.

Saturday against Tennessee will be Knight’s latest chance to prove that he can perform in big games, like his four-touchdown performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season.

The mark of a true quarterback is one that can handle the pressure: A signal caller who never gets too amped about a game or a play.

That’s still Knight’s full lesson to learn.

“I’ve definitely had to work on that,” Knight said. “…That’s the thing you need to work on day to day that I continue to work on.” Knight missed a few deep throws to receiver Sterling Shepard last week because he said that he was too juiced up for the big play. He recognized that an extra second could have added to his accuracy on the play.

That’s part of his development.

Knight has already grown enough that the coaching staff gave him complete reign over the offense during the offseason, allowing former quarterback Blake Bell to make the switch to tight end.

The confidence bestowed upon him has translated into fast starts that have allowed the Sooners to cruise to two easy victories.

“I think definitely when you look at the number of snaps he’s taken from when he started a year ago to what now, the experience he has through a whole year, and then the whole preparation leading up to the year, naturally, that position, he’s definitely more comfortable and prepared to start the game now, and should only get better the more he plays,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoop said. Season-opening games against lower conference opponents aren’t going to be the games to test a young quarterback’s resolve, though. It’s the big games that do that, and Saturday is the biggest early-season game that the Sooners will have to play.

There’s a lot of pompous that goes along with big games: A lot of pompous that Knight will have to ignore.

His teammates don’t have to, but he does.

“I don’t know if Trevor pays that much attention to it,” Oklahoma linebacker Geneo Grissom said. “He kind of seems to me like the guy that just wants to go out there and make plays. A lot of the guys, they’re interested in knowing that the whole world is watching them.”


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories