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Murray said. You come here to play quarterback

Time:2018-09-02 13:36Shoes websites Click:

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(TNS) — Do you remember John Brantley? How about Michael Spurlock? Josh Nunes, Barrett Trotter or Jammal Lord?


Didn’t think so. They were the star-crossed fellows who followed Tim Tebow, Eli Manning, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Eric Crouch as quarterbacks at Florida, Ole Miss, Stanford, Auburn and Nebraska, respectively.


Some other names you do remember. Just not all that fondly. Chris Smith, Nate Hybl, Paul Thompson, Landry Jones and Wes Lunt. They succeeded some of the most memorable quarterbacks in our state’s history. Mike Gundy, Josh Heupel, Jason White, Sam Bradford and Brandon Weeden, respectively.


Which brings us to Taylor Cornelius and Kyler Murray, who this week will step into the big shoes and long shadows of iconic quarterbacks. Cornelius succeeds Mason Rudolph, who made 41 starts for OSU and is as good a pick as any as the greatest quarterback in school history. Murray succeeds Baker Mayfield, who finished in the top four of three straight Heisman votings and is as good a pick as any as the greatest quarterback in any school’s history.


Seems like a really good time to remind us all — me, you, other media, fans, teammates, coaches, everyone — that matching the performance of Rudolph and Mayfield is mission impossible. Let’s go easy on these guys.


“Everybody has to be a little patient with him,” Gundy said of Cornelius. “It’s not going to just look like Mason and James (Washington, favorite receiver). That was a machine that worked its way to that point over a three-year period.”


OSU athletic director Mike Holder wandered over to practice the other day and in chatting with Gundy asked about the new quarterback.


So Gundy resorted to a golf analogy for an old golf coach.


“What I told Holder, he (Cornelius) is damn good on the driving range,” Gundy said. “I just don’t know what he’ll do on the tee box.”


Murray at least has been on the tee box. Made three starts at A&M and one at OU. But the former was three years ago, and the latter was for only two plays. Yet optimism runs amok in Norman, based both on the Sooners’ typically robust results and Murray’s reputation as a blue-chip recruit.


“There’s a standard here at the position,” Murray said. “You come here to play quarterback, you play it well. To me, that’s my job and I’m prepared to do that.”


It’s not like every great college quarterback has been followed by a dud. Vince Young in 2005 was an historically dominant quarterback in leading Texas to the national title; the next year, the Longhorns turned to Colt McCoy, who became a beloved QB himself. Tee Martin led Tennessee to the national title in 1998, the year after Peyton Manning bid farewell to the Volunteers. And Miami, had a remarkable uninterrupted string of Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson and Gino Toretta. The least heralded of those, Walsh and Erickson, quarterbacked national title teams.


The Sooners at least talk like a team ready to deal with life after Mayfield.


Offensive tackle Bobby Evans: “I love Baker to death. But he’s obviously moving on, so we need to move on. Last year is last year. This is a whole new year.”


Cornerback Parnell Motley: “Nobody will ever be like Baker Mayfield. That’s probably a one-of-a-kind thing. But what we can do is set our game to what we want it to be. Let these guys (quarterbacks) be the best person they can be and not be someone else.”


Tight end Grant Calcaterra: “Bake obviously set the bar pretty high. He’s a legend here. Always be a legend here. But it’s not so much that he set a bar, but there’s a bar at the University of Oklahoma, for how you’re supposed to play. No matter who’s going to play quarterback this year, the bar’s going to be the same.”


Exactly. And that’s the point. Ask Landry Jones, a fine college quarterback. Maybe even an excellent college quarterback. Just not as good as Bradford. Which led to a multi-year lack of appreciation for Jones.


And now that OSU has gotten in the business of producing quality quarterbacks — Zac Robinson, Weeden, Rudolph — the same attitude could settle in Stillwater.


So the first time a Murray scramble ends with an errant throw, or a Cornelius deep ball misfires, a murmur will rumble through the stadium. A reminder that it’s a new era. The fates of the Sooners and the Cowboys could rest on whether such murmurs extend to the huddle and the sideline and the locker room.


“First practice maybe in the spring, it was a little different,” said OSU tailback Justice Hill of life without Rudolph. “But after that, Corn, he led the team, led us in the spring, led us this fall. Not any adjustment for us. Going to be fun being out there with him.”


I hope it’s fun for Murray and Cornelius. Life can get lonely when the multitudes focus not on who you are, but who you’re not.

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