Przybylo: OU QB situation, transformation a win for all

It was an unconventional situation at OU and its quarterbacks, but somehow it has worked out for all involved.

In November 2015, the Oklahoma quarterback situation had Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback with Trevor Knight as the backup and Cody Thomas waiting in the wings.

In July 2016, the OU quarterback situation has Mayfield returning with true freshman Austin Kendall as the only other scholarship quarterback and Kyler Murray waiting to become eligible when the 2017 season rolls around.

But instead of bitterness or disappointment, the situation has turned out great for all involved. Somehow everyone is coming out better than where they were eight months ago.

Knight has effectively used the graduate transfer rule and is poised to be the starting quarterback for Texas A&M and bring some stability to that spot on and off the field, well, at least for one year.

Mayfield was granted that lost year of eligibility back, meaning he is able to play in Norman in 2017 if he chooses to do so.

Kendall is one play away from getting his crack at showing everybody what he can do following a tremendous spring where he showed he might not just be a run of the mill freshman.

The biggest success story? Cody Thomas. He took the biggest risk, and it’s now paying off in ways few would have imagined at this time last year.

Heading into Big 12 media days last July, the focus was on who would win the battle between Mayfield, Thomas and Knight. Thomas had made significant strides under first-year offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and Riley’s system seemed to be geared toward what Thomas did best.

Through no true fault of his own, Thomas wasn’t the No. 1 guy. Mayfield grabbed the reins and never looked back in helping lead the Sooners back to a Big 12 championship and first ever appearance in the college football playoff.

The question remained what in the world Thomas was going to do. Though he had always had success in football, Thomas returned to baseball. A notable two-sport star coming out of Colleyville (Texas) Heritage, Thomas was as known back then for his baseball prowess as he was as a signal-caller.

Nobody knew what Thomas had left in the tank on the diamond after a couple of years away from the game. And the first part of the season? Pretty much forgettable.

An injury opened the door for Thomas to get more playing time, and he grabbed the brass ring and has never looked back.

Following an outstanding close to his junior season, Thomas was selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. It didn’t take him long to sign with the organization, and it hasn’t taken him long to find his groove.

Thomas began in the rookie league, and it tore it up so badly in his first week that he was promoted to the Pioneer League (advanced rookie league) and is now playing in Ogden, Utah.

He hasn’t slowed down yet. In 13 games, Thomas has six home runs and 12 RBIs and had five consecutive games with a home run last week.

Thomas is hitting .489 with a 1.067 slugging percentage with 15 runs scored and eight walks.

It’s safe to say his transition is complete, and it’s clear he made the right move.

From Mayfield, Knight and Thomas to Mayfield, Kendall and Murray with Knight at A&M and Thomas with the Dodgers. It has been a whirlwind of a 12 months but opportunity and success has followed everybody.

 


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