IRVING, Texas —
Most forgot the only experienced receiver OU had that season was Ryan Broyles. The offensive line was in the foundation phase of a rebuilding project. Offensively, the Sooners just weren’t very good that year.
Four years later, they have one of the most explosive offenses in college football. Jones is the biggest reason. Yet in quarterback billing he’s still second fiddle to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. No one understands more than Jones how the Heisman Trophy changes perception.
The Sooners, however, know how important Jones has been the last four seasons.
“People outside of our building can’t appreciate what he brings to the building every single day,” said Heupel, who is now OU’s offensive coordinator and Jones’ position coach. “What he brings to the table with his approach, his mentality and focus in the meeting room, I’ll even take it for granted sometimes. He has an ability to make adjustments to game plans on the fly because of the time on task and because he has such a great command of what we’re doing. He sees things very similar to what I do. He’s on my page and speaks my language. Those things don’t happen overnight.”
Jones’ career didn’t either. It’s been longer than any quarterback who has ever played at OU. There are great moments and ones all would like to forget. Longevity has that effect.
OU coach Bob Stoops won’t rank it. He just appreciates it.
“Landry has had a long and great journey,” he said. “It started here out of nowhere when Sam Bradford got hurt, and he genuinely could not wait for his opportunity to go out and play. Through the year he did a great job in tough circumstances with the other guys around him that were hurt. He has grown and developed through the years. A great worker, a great talent, and you look at the records and the championships; it has been special. He has been a great QB for us.”