When you attend Oklahoma as a student, student-athlete, or are an alum of the school you become familiar with or are familiar with The OU Chant. It reads:
Our chant rolls on and on!
Join heart and song
In alma mater's praise
Of campus beautiful
by day and night
Of colors proudly gleaming
Red and White
'Neath a western sky
OU's chant will never die
Live on Universty!
A song that is intended to unite those of Sooner nation and show the greatness of the university is somewhat ironic now when it comes to the conundrum that Lincoln Riley, quarterback guru, will have on his hands. How is this ironic? The bolded line above “Thousands strong” signifies the quarterback position for the Sooners this upcoming season. Although, the two most likely candidates for the starting job this season will have to learn the chant that was first written in 1936 by Jessie Lone Clarkson Gilley.
The first of the newest members to campus will be transfer, Jalen Hurts. Standing at 6′ 2″ and weighing 218 pounds Hurts has incredible athleticism. Athleticism that you can see in former OU quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, the back-to-back Heisman trophy winners. The thing that sets Hurts apart from the other two? He is about 2 or 3 inches taller than Murray and Mayfield. Granted, Mayfield is listed at 6′ 1″, but his height at the combine measured just over 6 feet.
The controversy surrounding Hurts last offseason after the Tua comeback “hurt” the stock that was placed in him. The area of concern that has surrounded Hurts over his career is his passing and decision making. I’d argue that his career numbers oppose that viewpoint and put that idea to shame. In two full seasons Hurts completed 62% of his passes, threw for 4,860 yards, and 40 TDs. In the 29 games he compiled those stats in, he only threw 10 interceptions. Over 630 attempts and only 10 ended up in the hands of the opposition. Not to mention the 950 yards and 13 touchdowns he ran for as a true freshman while also winning the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award that year. He led his team to the National Championship game in back-to-back seasons. This is a talented football player.
The next newest to campus will be the top Dual-Threat quarterback in the country according to Rivals.com, Spencer Rattler. Measured at the All-American Bowl, Rattler is usually listed at 6′ 1″, but some conflicting reports have him at just about at 6 foot on the money. Regardless, the 5-star commit threw for 11,000 career yards, yeah not a typo. Totaling 116 passing touchdowns over his 4 years along with 14 on the ground, Rattler is going to have to fight to be QB1 at Oklahoma. Not only that, but he is also a highly touted basketball player.
The Oklahoma signee obviously hasn’t shown what he can do at the next level because of his age, but he will need to be very impressive in spring ball to win the starting job. You can’t doubt his abilities with no way for him to have proven himself already, but in order to help Oklahoma continue the success they’ve had he will have to be better than someone who has been there and done that. Oklahoma has made 3 of the 5 College Football Playoffs that have been played to this point, we will find out if Rattler has the stuff it takes to make it 4 of 6.
That’s Not All, Folks
Beyond the two main attractions that continue to put Oklahoma in the news, coach Riley has a couple other options to fill out the rest of the depth chart. The highly likely 3rd option is Tanner Mordecai. He played in two games last year and completed 2 of 4 passes. The former 4-star recruit will most likely be going into the season as the film room veteran, despite only being a sophomore. I imagine he’ll help the two newest studs get used to life as a Sooner and how the program runs.
Also in the star studded lineup of quarterback options is Tanner Schafer. Obviously not the most notable name and most likely won’t see action in his redshirt junior year, Schafer still remains on the roster. A known winner, Schafer was 31-0 as a junior and senior in high school and won back-to-back state championships.
All of that fire power and until not too long ago that would’ve included Austin Kendall, who originally , but it seemed that after Rattler signed and Hurts announced he was to be a Sooner, Kendall was released to be a Mountaineer.
Many different options and many decisions available for the quarterback guru, Lincoln Riley. More talent to defend his streak of Heisman winners and attempts to reach the National Championship game. Will it be the shunned, shined, or silent that helps Riley reach the pinnacle and hoist the trophy that promotes team play and not individual?
And with Lincoln Riley receiving a major extension earlier this offseason, there won’t be much distraction going forward.