Lunt Named Starting Quarterback

Wes Lunt

Wes Lunt

April 26, 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. - Citing what was best for the team's chances to score points and win games, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy named early-enrollee freshman Wes Lunt as the starter at quarterback today.

The last true freshman to start a game at quarterback for the Cowboys was Toné Jones in 1993, but a look through the OSU record books shows no true freshman having started a season opener since at least 1950.

Lunt earned the job after competing alongside junior Clint Chelf and redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh during the spring. The three split equal reps with the starting offense.

"We had to make a decision based on what we thought was best for our offense to score points and then give us the best chance to win football games," Gundy said. "All three players had good springs, but at some point, the decision is made on the field. There's always a comment about who coaches are going to name as the starter at any position, but the coaches usually don't make that decision - the decision is made by the players. Wes performed better than the other two quarterbacks in the spring."

Lunt said he got the news when offensive coordinator Todd Monken called him into his office for a short visit Thursday morning.

"I'm overwhelmed. It's such a humbling experience," Lunt said. "Coming in early, I knew I had a chance to compete for the job and to get it is just overwhelming. I know that we're still going to compete through summer and two-a-days, so it's not over."

Lunt graduated early from Rochester HS in Rochester, Ill., where he led his team to a pair of state championships and was recognized as the Player of the Year in Illinois by the Springfield News Gazette. Despite missing the early part of his senior year to injury, Lunt still passed for 3,650 yards with 31 touchdowns against only four interceptions this past fall.

 

 

Playing in an offensive system similar to that of Oklahoma State's in high school, Lunt completed 73 percent of his passes as a senior and set a state record with 590 passing yards in a single game. He also holds state records for passing yards and completions in a state championship game. Over his last two seasons, Lunt amassed more than 7,000 passing yards, had 65 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

A self-described drop-back passer, Lunt has drawn comparisons to OSU's record-breaking quarterback Brandon Weeden, who led the Cowboy program to new heights as the starter the last two seasons.

"We like our system. We like the ability to play fast. We like the ability to throw the ball down the field effectively but also run the football," Gundy said. "Wes gives us the best opportunity to stay consistent with our style of play."

Mike Gundy Quotes
On who is the starting quarterback coming out of spring ball:
"Our offensive staff and myself have decided that Wes Lunt will be our starting quarterback for the first game in September."

On the process of making that decision:
"I sat down and visited with Todd Monken, our offensive coordinator, and he had all the other information from visiting with the offensive staff and we decided that after spring ball and watching all three quarterbacks battle for this position, that Wes is the best player to lead our football team."

On what Wes Lunt brings to the team:
"He's tall, he's very mature, he's got good arm strength - not great arm strength yet, obviously he's still a high school player - but there's a lot of development there. We like his maturity and we like where he's at in our offense, essentially still being a high school player."

On what the decision ultimately came down to:
"We had to make a decision based on what we thought was best for our offense to score points and then give us the best chance to win football games. All three players had good springs, but at some point, the decision is made on the field. There's always a comment about who coaches are going to name as the starter at any position, but the coaches usually don't make that decision - the decision is made by the players. Wes performed better than the other two quarterbacks in the spring."

On if this decision means that Wes Lunt will be the opening day starter barring injury or the unforeseen:
"We've named our starting quarterback and Wes will start in the first game barring (unforeseen) circumstances. It's his responsibility, with the help of the mature players on offense, to lead our team from this point forward."

On what Wes Lunt being named starting quarterback says about the staff's commitment to OSU's offensive system:
"We like our system. We like the ability to play fast. We like the ability to throw the ball down the field effectively but also run the football. Wes gives us the best opportunity to stay consistent with our style of play."

On what makes Wes Lunt different than most true freshman quarterbacks:
"He has a good demeanor. He has a good knowledge of the game. He makes mistakes - Brandon Weeden made mistakes in his first year even though he was a more mature player - but some players have a calm demeanor and are able to execute better than others in critical situations and he showed signs of that. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but we feel like he has a very bright future."


Wes Lunt Quotes
On being named the starting quarterback:
"I'm overwhelmed. It's such a humbling experience. Coming in early, I knew I had a chance to compete for the job and to get it is just overwhelming. I know that we're still going to compete through summer and two-a-days, so it's not over."

On how he got the news:
"Coach Monken sat me down and just came out and said it."

On how he would describe his playing style:
"I'm a drop-back passer a lot like Brandon Weeden. I'm not going to kill you with my legs. I'm a passer."

On how he would describe his leadership style:
"I'm a quiet kid. I lead by example. I'm going to need to become more vocal."

On what he's going to try to accomplish this offseason:
"I'm just going to work as hard as I possibly can and learn the offense better. I still have a ton of improvement that I need to make. Building relationships with the coaches and the players."

On what he can do to become a leader:
"It all starts with how you work out in the summer. Come early, stay late. I'm not going to be a guy that will get in your face and scream, but always positive and always willing to help out."

On what it is about him that put him in this position:
"I don't know. God gave me an ability to throw the ball and I'm just so blessed to be in the situation that I am. I'm just overwhelmed."

On what the offensive system was like at his high school:
"A lot like OSU. That's why I picked OSU. I liked Coach Monken and Coach Gundy and the offense. I like the spread."

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