The eyes of Huntsville are on you, Rhett Bomar.
It may not necessarily be fair, but like it or not, much is expected from the Bearkats’ new starting quarterback. Bomar’s story is one that has been blasted across media outlets around the country for over a year. The prized recruit of Bob Stoops was to be the future of the Sooner program, the heir apparent to Heisman Trophy winner Jason White. Sadly, actions occurred which Bomar can’t take back and he was forced to find a new football home.
Yet Bomar says he is ready to put the events that transpired at Oklahoma behind him and focus on the present at Sam Houston State. Through his much publicized arrival, he has not only brought national attention to Sam Houston, but also a strong possibility of a conference championship.
It has been nearly a year since Bomar first enrolled in Huntsville, but he has yet to play for the Bearkats. He last saw action December 29, 2005 at Qualcomm Stadium in the Holiday Bowl as he threw for 229 yards and a touchdown giving the Sooners a 17-14 victory over the Oregon Ducks. Little did he realize that over 18 months since that bowl game, he wouldn’t have played in a meaningful game.
“It’s the longest I have ever gone [not playing football],” Bomar said. “I’m really excited about it and tired of going against my teammates. I might have some butterflies for the first time when we play.”
Based on both Rivals.com and Scout.com’s assessments of the 2004 high school football class, Bomar was their number one touted quarterback recruit. “As the starting quarterback they look up to you,” Bomar said. “I try to get my teammates to go hard on every play. I’ve been here a year and have developed some good relationships with my teammates.”
“I feel I have the physical skills to make all the throws, but I want to be a good leader and not have myself or my teammates take plays off.”
Bomar acknowledges that there will be a transition to not playing in front of over 80,000 screaming fans as he was accustomed to in Norman, but realizes it was something he will have to grow accustomed to playing in Huntsville.
“I went to Sam because I had decided to go to a I-AA school,” Bomar said. “If I went to a I-A school, I would have to sit out two years (one because of transfer rule and one for the infractions) so I came down here and visited and really liked Coach Whitten and the previous success they have had with other transfer quarterbacks. Also, our All-American Offensive Tackle Brandon Hale and I both went to the same high school (Grand Prairie High School).”
The buzz around the team is nothing that has been witnessed in the Whitten era. At some football games (and oddly enough, one volleyball game last fall), chants could be heard saying, “Put in Bomar!!” promoting the notion that people are excited to see the hyped quarterback out on the field and he’s ready to meet the challenge.
“Personally I want to go 11-0 and win the conference championship,” Bomar said. “I want to go out and win every game, make it to the playoffs and win a National Championship.”
Bomar said that he isn’t concerned with personal accolades, adding that the team’s success is more important than any award he would receive.
One of the games which Bomar hopes to win is September 29th in Stillwater, Oklahoma against his former school’s in-state rival Oklahoma State. He acknowledges that the OSU game is nothing special rather, just another game on the schedule; however he notes that he previously had success as a freshman against them, in which the Sooners beat the Cowboys 42-14, a game in which he threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
“Oklahoma State is just another game on the schedule. We want to go out and win it,” Bomar said.
He has stated that he will play the final two years of his eligibility here, and he has no plans to enter the NFL draft early. There is much anticipation, so come this Thursday we get to see what the buzz is all about.