Freshman update: QB Trevor Knight

R.J. Washington has a message for anyone who wants to hand the Oklahoma starting quarterback job to Blake Bell heading into the 2013 season.

“Everybody’s excited ... but people have to watch out for Trevor [Knight],” the Sooners defensive end said. “Don’t count him out, he’s going to surprise a lot of people.”

Quarterback Trevor Knight has been redshirting during his first season on campus and running the scout team with efficiency against OU’s No. 1 defense in practice.

“One practice he was shredding our defense; it was like, 'Who is this kid?' ” Washington said. “He’s fast and he can throw accurately on deep balls, short balls. He’ll do something, then run the same play and beat us a whole different way. It’s like, ‘What is going on?’ ”

A four-star quarterback prospect when he signed out of San Antonio/Reagan last February, Knight is a quality run-pass threat similar to the various Big 12 spread quarterbacks who have created problems for the Sooners defense this season.

“He has a great arm, he shows us a great look every week,” safety Javon Harris said. “He’s been a key part to our preparation every week. I’m excited to see what he’ll be doing next year. I think he’s going to be a great quarterback.”

Initially some Sooners defenders believed it was their defense that was the problem. But eventually they began to understand there was more to it than just subpar play of their own during practice.

“I told him he needs to change his last name to Trevor Nice,” Washington said. “He makes plays in practice that are like, ‘Man!’ At first it was, ‘Why you going to let this freshman do this?’ Then he keeps doing it. Now, it’s like ‘I wonder what Trevor is going to do today?’ "

While his feet can create problems for a defense, he’s been showing he has all of the traits to excel in OU’s offense, which depends on accurate passing from its quarterback.

“Trevor is going to be nice,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “He can pretty much do anything. He can run, he can throw, his ball is always on the money. As a secondary we always talk about how pretty his throws are. I’m excited to see what Trevor does in the future.”

For Sooners offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel, who recruited Knight, his performance during his redshirt season hasn’t been a surprise, but it has been impressive.

“He’s gotten better as the year has gone on,” Heupel said. “He’s a really smart kid, very detailed, it matters to him. He prepares like he’s the starting quarterback here, even though he’s on the scout team. He’s done a good job, guys enjoy being around him, he’s competitive, he’s a leader and he throws the ball extremely well too.”

Every Sooner asked has high praise for Knight, but none of it matters until he becomes a proven commodity by making game-changing plays on Saturdays.

“We’re going to find out [if he’s everything expected],” Heupel said. “But we feel like he’s doing a lot of good things.”