OU back to the grind for 2018 quarterback

Can't cry over spilled milk. Time to get back out there for OU in finding its 2018 quarterback.

One of the hallmarks of Oklahoma’s 2017 class was its ability to bounce back from any negative and quickly find a positive.

There was never a moment when #SoonerSquad17 flinched. The group, ranked No. 6 by Scout, was OU’s highest-ranked class since being No. 2 in 2010.

The Sooners were dealt a blow Saturday when Newbury Park (Calif.) High quarterback Cameron Rising flipped his commitment from Oklahoma to Texas.

Rising, ranked No. 144 in the Scout 300, had been committed to OU since Aug. 7. A trip to Austin last weekend seemed to change everything.

You’re OU. You can’t flinch, right? Rising is going to be a Longhorn. No point in crying over spilled milk. Time to get back to work. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley unfollowed Rising on Twitter. It's time to move on.

Casey Thompson (© Greg Powers)


Moore (Okla.) Southmoore QB Casey Thompson

Thompson committed to Texas less than two weeks ago, but obviously that’s not the full story. Thompson has a tremendous relationship with OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, the staff and a lot of the top OU recruits.

Here’s what we know. Thompson knew all along Texas wanted to take two quarterbacks for the 2018 class. The who is the surprising part. Perhaps Thompson pieced it together in the last few days or so that Rising was going to be the next addition.

Thompson knew the quarterback room was thin and there was going to be competition. What we don’t know is if the fact it’s Rising will play a role into Thompson’s thought process from this point moving forward.

Rising is not an insurance policy. He’s far from a B+ add-on at the spot. Competition is great, obviously, but having two of the top 15 quarterbacks in one class usually doesn’t pan out.

Not enough room at the inn, not enough snaps to make everybody happy. There’s usually a pecking order. People know their spot.

If Thompson starts feeling like a No. 2 choice instead of No. 1, then what?

Here’s what we know. Thompson told Sooners Illustrated on Saturday that OU already reached out to him following Rising’s decision to commit to Texas.

Thompson was offered by OU last May, and Riley has done an incredible job of keeping that relationship in the last year and building it for more than two years.

The knee-jerk reaction for all OU fans is to want the quarterback now. But it’s hard to see that happening with Thompson.

OU is no doubt going to test the waters and see where the mutual interest is. Riley and the Sooners would be fools not to and just as big of a fool to put all the eggs in that one basket.

Spencer Sanders (© Greg Powers)


Denton (Texas) Ryan QB Spencer Sanders

If Texas can take the OU quarterback, then can’t the Sooners take the Oklahoma State signal-caller? That’s the logic being pushed here. Sanders, ranked just a notch below Thompson and Rising in the Scout 300, has been committed to the Pokes since October.

The last notable follow on Twitter by Riley was Sanders on Saturday. Sanders is already following offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh but has yet to follow Riley as of this time.

You watch Sanders, and there isn’t a huge difference between him and Rising and Thompson. A difference? Sure, but not one where OU fans should be dreading the Sooners looking that way. Denton, Texas, would give back that proximity factor OU had in 2017 with Mesquite Horn’s Chris Robison.

There’s a lot of reasons to believe these dots will be connected, but again, no guarantee this will happen in a flash.


Those are the two obvious ones. Very obvious choices. Sometimes obvious is the right move. Sometimes it’s something out of left field that ends up being the answer.

What won’t be the answer is no quarterback. There is no question OU’s quarterback room looks stacked for the 2018 season between Kyler Murray, Austin Kendall and Chris Robison.

None of those three guys will even be seniors in 2018 so a thought process is you don’t need one. Yea, you do, though.

Injury? Uh oh. Transfer? Could happen. Never rule anything out when it comes to a position as delicate as quarterback.

Not taking a quarterback would be resting on your laurels and not sparking that competition. You need that room to be great. You want that room to be pushed. The more talent, the better.

If you load up too much, sure, a transfer could occur. That’s the way it works, but if you’re striving for greatness, realize lately it sort of comes with the territory.

What we don’t know is how long will Riley be kicking the tires with Sanders and/or Thompson before venturing elsewhere? You have to figure there will be other names in this search.

The spring evaluation period is here, and OU concluded its spring practices last Thursday. It’s time to hit the road.

The focus has always been on building the 2018, 2019, 2020 classes. Riley’s focus is just a little bit different this time around.

Riley has hit all the right notes during his time in Norman. This is just the latest chord he must hit correctly.

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