Oklahoma's Stoops: NFL genes make Blake Bell a prototype TE

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DALLAS -- If things had worked out differently, Oklahoma would be bringing Blake Bell to Big 12 Media Days as the team's starting quarterback.

Instead, sophomore Trevor Knight was given the honor after seizing the reigns under center and leading the Sooners to an upset win in the Sugar Bowl over Alabama in January. Bell is back home in Norman preparing for his first fall camp as a tight end after moving to the position once he lost out to Knight as the starting quarterback.

As it turns out, the position switch might have been in the cards for some time.

"I go back to even it's in his genes, his dad (Mark) was an NFL tight end for eight years. So he fits the bill perfectly and it's a position that we want to continue to make stronger," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said on Tuesday. "I think he's really going to impact us in a great way at the tight end position."

Mark Bell played most of his NFL career as a tight end with the Seattle Seahawks before stops in Baltimore and Indianapolis with the Colts.

The younger Bell found success early in his career as a backup quarterback brought in to run specialized short-yardage packages and went by the nickname of the "Belldozer." He was slated to be the full-time starter for Oklahoma in 2013 and made eight starts but alternated time with Knight more and more as the season went on.

After Knight hit a groove late in the season and looked to firmly be the signal-caller of the future for the Sooners, Bell was moved to tight end in the spring. That could be a possible path to the NFL after the season given that he could play a big role for the Sooners' 2014 squad given the youth and inexperience of the receiving corps.

"Blake was recruited definitely as quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro type at tight end," Stoops added. "He's got great hands, great size, 6-6, he's almost 260. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes."

Although he came to Norman as a quarterback, apparently it was always in the cards for him to wind up as a tight end.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter *@BryanDFischer.*

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