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OU 2010 Players to Watch, Day 7: Drew Allen

20100214-OU Players to Watch 20100214-OU Players to Watch

Originally Published: Feb 20, 2010 9:4 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

QB Drew Allen

Background:

Allen threw for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior at Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas. He also rushed for more than 400 yards and completed 56 percent of his passes. He won the EA Sports Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge and was ranked the No. 15 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com.

Why he’s on the list:

Landry Jones stepped up after Sam Bradford’s injury last season, but Bob Stoops went out of his way to preserve Drew Allen’s redshirt. Allen was technically the No. 2 quarterback behind Jones, but he never saw the field because Stoops wanted to keep him for an extra year. Fans and coaches have now seen what Jones has to offer, but Allen remains a relative mystery. That will make his performance in the spring very important.

Best-case scenario:

Landry Jones shows improvement during the spring and continues to be the Sooners’ starter. Allen is not forced into the starting lineup too early, but is able to gradually gain experience at the beginning of the season. The Sooners blow out their non-conference opponents, allowing Allen to get some playing time in the fourth quarter.

Worst-case scenario:

Landry Jones is forced out of the starting lineup either due to injury or ineffective play, causing Allen to step up before he is ready. He cannot adjust to the speed of the college game, resulting in bad losses to teams OU should beat. This bad first experience also stunts his growth overall, keeping him from reaching his potential.

My take:

The injury to Sam Bradford last season proved that the Sooners need a viable backup quarterback. We have now seen that Landry Jones is a legitimate starter, but he probably is not OU’s long-term answer. Allen and incoming freshman Blake Bell have both received tremendous praise, but neither has proven anything yet.

During the spring, Allen will be one of the biggest players to watch. If he plays exceptionally well, he could even become the new starter. If he plays terribly, Blake Bell could be asked to step in immediately as the backup. The depth chart at the Sooners’ most important position will be determined by how Allen does.

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