OU's Blake Bell wins tight end job

NORMAN, Okla. -- Blake Bell, Oklahoma's former starting quarterback, is now its starting tight end.

The depth chart, which was released Monday, revealed the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Bell beat out Taylor McNamara at tight end. Bell, who started eight games under center last season, switched positions before the spring with the emergence of Trevor Knight.

"Blake, he's been really solid," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday. "He loves doing it. He's really a big a target, a comfortable target for Trevor or any quarterback when in the middle of the field. He's got great hands.

"The different lifting and training from a quarterback to a tight end has helped him get stronger and bigger, so the blocking has been solid, and I think that's something that as we go through the year that will improve the more he's on the field and the more opportunities he gets."

Though he's been primarily working at tight end in practice, Bell has gotten a few opportunities at quarterback. Cody Thomas is listed as the second-team quarterback, but Stoops said "it never hurts to have an emergency plan."

"Once you know the entire offense, you know it," Stoops said. "He's handled it quite well."

Stoops also said the Sooners would keep "Belldozer" in the offensive playbook. Bell scored 25 touchdowns his freshman and sophomore seasons while operating the short-yardage package from behind center.

"It wouldn't be a Wildcat-type package since he can throw pretty well," Stoops said. "Those other running backs they usually put back there usually couldn't throw a grenade in a tub.

"So Blake, we wouldn't have any problem if we wanted to give him a shot at something back there."