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Thursday, October 25, 2012
J.W. Walsh's toughness turned heads

By David Ubben

J.W. Walsh felt the pain in his leg, but he didn't have any plans to cede the starting position he'd inherited when Wes Lunt suffered a knee injury of his own.

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After the game, Walsh even told reporters he was 100 percent. He wasn't, but his toughness on the field impressed his coaches. Despite suffering a leg injury that will likely sideline him the rest of the season, coach Mike Gundy believes Walsh played around 70 plays after suffering the injury.

"I’m reading a book about Navy SEALs and what they go through to be a SEAL and how much pain they have to endure to continue to move forward. That’s what it reminded me of," Gundy told reporters this week. "What he was able to do Saturday after he sustained the injury is pretty impressive. That’s a credit to who he is and what he stands for."

Pain tolerance or not, Walsh isn't playing this weekend.

"I already knew he was a pretty savvy guy. I didn't even know he was hurt until yesterday. It shocked me when I found out," offensive lineman Lane Taylor told reporters. "I saw him icing his knee, and I asked him if he was alright, and he was like 'Yeah, I'm good.' I didn't know it was that serious. It shows how tough he is."

Oklahoma State has no choice but to move on without the redshirt freshman. Lunt practiced full-time with the team last week for the first time, and this week he'll split No. 1 reps with junior Clint Chelf and Gundy will decide who starts late in the week.

"Because we do move so fast in practice, it gives us a chance to get guys enough work," Gundy said.

TCU awaits, and brings with it a defense that has 14 interceptions this season, third most nationally. Still, offensive coordinator Todd Monken doesn't sound like he's sweating.

"I said in the spring that we have three guys who are pretty good players. I thought they all played well in the spring. The margin wasn't extreme between them -- there wasn't a cavernous gap," he said. "We just had made decisions on where we thought they were then, and where they could improve. A lot of times you go with the younger guys because they have such a gap where they can improve. I'm confident that we can win with either guy, just like I was confident when it was J.W. Walsh."