Rumor has it that Blake "The Belldozer" Bell has been taking some snaps at tight end during spring practice. There's a couple of ways to take this newly acquired information.
The first way is obvious: Blake Bell, as we all saw last season, is a tremendous athlete. While he remains the team's No. 3 quarterback behind Landry Jones and Drew Allen, it only makes sense to try to fit Bell into some unconventional packages.
While Bell thrived in the Wildcat last season, scoring 13 touchdowns on the ground (including three in the Insight Bowl), he can't be over utilized at that position. If you weren't aware, Bell is a 6'6", 245-pound monster of a man (hence the name "Belldozer"); tight end is a natural fit given his size.
Does Bell have good hands?
I'm not entirely sure, as I've never seen him catch any passes. I'm sure he has decent hands, and his speed and athleticism would make him a tough cover for any defensive back or linebacker that tries to take him on.
Here's another plus: he knows all the plays and routes already.
But as exciting as this news could potentially be, does this mean that the Sooners are desperate for a starting tight end? Tight end was a major concern at the end of the season, as James Hanna graduated and Austin Haywood transferred, leaving the Sooners with a tight end predicament.
However, the Sooners were lucky enough to get a good crop of talent in recruiting, including junior college transfer Brannon Green and standout (incoming) freshman Taylor McNamara. I figured Green would get the starting nod due to experience alone, but it's possible that he and the rest of the tight ends on the roster just aren't cutting it in practice.
I guess we won't officially know until somebody comes out and makes a statement, but the Sooners need to find a starting tight end for the sake of their offense. If that happens to be Blake Bell, then so be it, but I assume that any time he spends at tight end will only be in unconventional packages.