To play or not to play?

Freshman quarterback Paul Thompson ready to play if needed

Jason White's injury during Saturday's 37-27 win over Alabama has caused quite a dilemama for the Oklahoma coaching staff.

The decision to be made is whether or not to bring freshmen quarterback Paul Thompson out of his redshirt to backup Nate Hybl in next week's game against UTEP.

Redshirt Freshmen Brent Rawls is still recovering from surgery on his thumb and is expected back for the South Florida game in two weeks. If healthy, Rawls would be immediately take over the backup role, but his health and full recovery is still a question mark. So, there lies the big question. Should Oklahoma get Thompson some game experience next week against UTEP just in case Rawls is not ready to go by the time conference play roles around?

I talked to freshman quarterback Paul Thompson today after practice and I have to admit I have never been more impressed by a freshman than I was by him.

I can now see why the coaches love him so. Not only is his talented, athletic and quick, but he has a maturity about him that wins you over.

Thompson is a very confident quarterback, who is a total team player. When asked if he would rather redshirt or play this season he said, "I will do whatever is best for the team."

However, he admitted that he would rather redshirt this year because the quarterback position has so much to learn.

"I understand probably 50 percent of it (the offense), but that 50 percent I understand very well. I know enough of the offense that I could help get us into the end zone."

Thompson also talked about his strength's as a quarterback.

"I have a good arm, but my real asset is my speed and quickness," said Thompson. "I scramble very well and can make a lot of things happen in the running game. I can throw the ball well, but in our offense there is always room for the quarterback to run and I can really take advantage of that."

The bottom line is that this kid is so impressive I can't wait to see what he does on the field. I really don't believe that is going to play this year, but when he does I am going to watch with great interest. This guy is a born leader.

Bob Stoops said today at the luncheon that they were still going to try to redshirt Thompson and Noah Allen, and that Nate Hybl will take all the snaps on Saturday against UTEP.

I think this is a strange decision since three quarterbacks are needed for a year aren't they? What is really wrong with playing one of the freshman this year? If he needs to redshirt he can redshirt next year.

Another puzzling aspect of this is that Bob has never been a big stickler on redshirting. If he needed to play a freshman to help win now they play him and I would think this would be one of those cases. The coaches will prepare Thompson as if he is going to play, but as of Tuesday they don't plan to play him in a game. However, Bob said that the coaches will continue to talk about it.

Offensive Coordinator Chuck Long wants to play Thompson on Saturday, so he is trying to talk Coach Stoops into it, but the kid really would rather redshirt. It's a tough call all the way around.

Don't give on Hybl just yet
For those of you that insist that OU can't beat Texas or win any big game with Nate Hybl at QB, please check the facts. He has already beaten KSU and that was a very big game last year, and he beat Alabama didn't he?

Sure, Renaldo Works and KeJuan Jones played a big role in that final drive, but without Hybl's slant route to Antwone Savage OU might not have had an opportunity to see Works' second run. Didn't Josh Heupel have some help or some other players around him during the Sooners national championship year?

Hybl played hurt all last year. Will you folks please give him a chance to show us what he can do when he is healhty? He is throwing the ball pretty well right now and the team has a lot of confidence in him. They feel he can take them to the promise land, so lets trust them a little bit.

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