Over the past week, AllSooners.com has been ranking the top skill position players the Oklahoma Sooners will face in the 2022 season, finishing today with the quarterbacks.
5. Casey Thompson, Nebraska
After spending a majority of the year as the starter at Texas, Casey Thompson transferred this offseason to another one of his father’s biggest rivals.
Thompson will line up once again across from Oklahoma in one of college football’s biggest rivalries. But this time instead of meeting the Sooners in Dallas, Thompson will be on hand as the Nebraska Cornhuskers hosts Oklahoma in Lincoln for the first time since 2009.
Last year, Thompson saw action in 12 games, completing 63 percent of his passing and throwing for 2,113 yards and 24 touchdowns while surrendering nine interceptions.
More than just a passer, Thompson also picked up 157 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
In last year’s battle against the Sooners, Thompson starred in the first half. But as with most of Texas’ season, the Longhorns faded in the second half, succumbing to a massive Oklahoma comeback.
Despite the defeat, Thompson completed 20-of-34 passes for 388 yards and five touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl.
Now under the tutelage of Scott Frost, Thompson will get a second chance at toppling the Sooners this year.
Read More 2022 Oklahoma Preview:
4. Adrian Martinez, Kansas State
Adrian Martinez is scattered around Nebraska’s record books, but he opted for a change of scenery for his final season of college football.
The veteran quarterback moved a bit south, arriving in Manhattan to lead the way for Chris Klieman’s Kansas State Wildcats.
Last year, Martinez set a career high with 2,863 passing yards, connecting on 62 percent of his passes.
Though his overall passing numbers improved, Martinez still struggled with turnovers as he only threw 14 touchdown passes compared to 10 interceptions.
Martinez’s legs have become a hallmark of his game, as he punched in another 13 scores on the ground last year.
While Martinez was efficient enough through the air against the Sooners last year, completing 19-of-25 passes for 289 yards, one touchdown and one interception, he struggled to make an impact on the ground.
Oklahoma’s defense held Martinez to 34 yards and one score on 17 carries.
This year, Martinez will pair with playmakers Deuce Vaughn and Malik Knowles as the Wildcats try to get the most out of his final season in college football.
3. Quinn Ewers, Texas
Though he’s yet to take an official snap at Texas, Quinn Ewers has already sent ripples through the Longhorn program.
Days after Ewers announced he would be transferring to Austin, Casey Thompson entered the portal, eventually ending up at Nebraska.
Before Texas, Ewers spent a year in Columbus with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Rated the consensus No. 1 quarterback in the country, Ewers reclassified to the 2021 recruiting class to get to Ohio State a year early.
But C.J. Stroud starred for Ohio State, meaning Ewers had to return to his home state to find early playing time.
Plenty of pressure has already been heaped on the redshirt freshman, as he’ll need to play well for Steve Sarkisian’s program to take a step forward after a disappointing 2021 campaign.
But Ewers has enough arm talent and play makers around him to find some success in 2022.
2. Blake Shapen, Baylor
Though he only saw the field six times last year, Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen made his presence felt.
Shapen sat behind Gerry Bohanon most of the year, but was called into action late in the year after Bohanon sustained an injury.
Entering against Kansas State, Shapen completed 16-of-21 passes for 137 yards, ensuring Baylor secured the win and stayed on track for another berth in the Big 12 Championship game.
He was solid again the next week, throwing for 254 yards and two touchdowns against Texas Tech, before stealing the show against Oklahoma State in Arlington.
Shapen completed his first 17 attempts of the game, an AT&T Stadium record for a college game, en route to throwing for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, Shapen took care of the ball against Oklahoma State’s defense, as the Bears rode his first half performance to victory.
During spring football, Dave Aranda liked so much of what he saw out of his young quarterback he named Shapen the starter, allowing Bohanon the chance to transfer elsewhere and find a starting spot of his own.
The Bears will return a majority of their offensive line in 2022 as well, setting Shapen up to succeed in his first full season as the starting quarterback.
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
The reigning All-Big 12 First Team quarterback recorded his best season in Stillwater to date last year.
Spencer Sanders completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,839 yards and 20 touchdowns, throwing 12 interceptions. A playmaker with his feet as well, Sanders also added 668 rushing yards for six scores on the ground.
The Oklahoma State quarterback did a much better job of taking care of the ball during the middle of the season last year as well, only throwing one interception over the course of five games headed into Bedlam.
He then helped record an elusive win over the Sooners, making plays on the ground and rushing for 93 yards en route to the massive victory.
Sanders took a huge step back, thawing four interceptions against Baylor in the Big 12 Championship, but he closed the season with perhaps his most impressive performance to date for the Cowboys.
Mike Gundy’s quarterback starred in the Fiesta Bowl, torching Notre Dame for 371 passing yards and four touchdowns while picking up another 125 yards on the ground to help OSU finish the season on a high in Arizona.
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