There were reasons to believe Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight might decide to pursue other opportunities but nothing was for sure until last week when it was announced by the university Knight was being granted a full release.
Knight remains with the team throughout the college football playoff, but it appears he is already the No. 3 quarterback with head coach Bob Stoops saying Wednesday that Cody Thomas was the backup for Bedlam and anticipated it would be the same way for the Capital One Orange Bowl.
Knight isn’t being kicked to the curb, far from it. Even if on the field it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses, his teammates certainly have Knight’s back on this decision.
“That dude right there, his passion from just from on the field when he gets his chance in practice to off the field when he keeps guys motivated,” senior wide receiver Durron Neal said. “He’s just a competitor at heart. When you see guys, he’ll encourage them and tell them that it’s all right. He’s just a good-hearted person on the sideline and on the field.
“He’s helped us a lot. He’s always has that intensity for us, to make sure we’re focused, to make sure we’re invested, to make sure we’re prepared for the next game.”
The other thing to keep in mind is there are no guarantees Knight will find the right fit and decide to transfer. The opening is no longer there at Oregon, and Georgia’s quarterback situation got a lot easier to digest with five-star quarterback Jacob Eason sticking with the Bulldogs.
There are schools like Kansas State and SMU and assumed more others will fall into the picture, but Knight isn’t talking about that right now.
"My decision to reach out and communicate with other potential programs is something I feel I must do in order to see if there is a perfect fit for my senior season,” said Knight in a statement last week. “I can promise you that no one is more proud to be a Sooner than I am, and in no way shape or form will this take away from my excitement and commitment heading into the championship season.
“I am truly touched by the support from both Coach Stoops and Coach (Lincoln) Riley, as well as all of Sooner Nation during this time.”
Neal, who was with Knight for OU’s 2012 class, said he understands why Knight is exploring other options. And said no matter what, Knight has his support.
“He’s always going to be my brother,” Neal said. “He’s always going to be our brother and I wish him the best. If he decides to stay and compete – and I know Trevor, he’s a competitor at heart – it may look like he’s taking the easy way out. He’s not. He’s just trying to find the best opportunity for himself.