Despite all of the naysayers, there really is a quarterback battle going on at Oklahoma’s fall camp. The battle involves Jalen Hurts but doesn’t necessarily include him. Barring significant injury, or miraculous development from one of the young guys, Hurts is going to be OU’s starting quarterback against Houston on September 1st.
Its the battle to backup Hurts that we need to be paying attention to. Because the winner here will have a leg up on the other when it comes to competing for Oklahoma’s 2020 starting gig in the spring.
The candidates are redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler. It’s a battle that started this week and honestly won’t truly end until the fall of 2020. To the victor goes the opportunity to be the next star at the University of Oklahoma. To the runner up goes the opportunity to be involved in all of the transfer rumors.
Head coach Lincoln Riley is playing this out as if the two are competing with Jalen Hurts to be the frontman for the 2019 offense but the reality is that they’re auditioning, a year in advance, for 2020.
“We’re not just gonna throw a true freshman in there just because, but we are going to give him enough reps to see if he’s ready to factor in this thing right now,” Riley said about Rattler earlier in the week, confirming the youngster is in fact getting a look.
As far as Mordecai is concerned, he’s not abandoning anything yet after going toe-to-toe with Hurts during the spring.
“I didn’t play my best ball in the spring game, but, I mean, you’ve got to watch it and keep going,” Mordecai said during Oklahoma’s Media Day last Friday. “You’ve got to watch it and be ready for the next opportunity, which I am. Fall camp’s right tomorrow, so I’m ready to get my next opportunity. I’m going to put my best foot forward. I’m going to do everything I possibly can, compete my butt off and just play ball…It’s been good. I think it’s a healthy competition and a healthy quarterback room. So it’s been good.”
You’ve got to love the competitive nature of both of Oklahoma’s underclassman quarterbacks but the harsh reality for them is that neither is as experienced or developed as Hurts and neither has taken the leadership role that Hurts has. Yet there they are, every practice “putting their best foot forward,” almost as if they’re competing among one another for something else.
Perhaps a future open quarterback spot.
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