Wes Lunt starter at QB for Cowboys

Updated: April 26, 2012, 1:58 PM ET
By David Ubben | ESPN.com

Oklahoma State plans to start Wes Lunt at quarterback for its season opener, the first time in school history that a true freshman is in the role.

Illinois native Lunt, a 6-foot-4, 211-pound traditional passer, enrolled early this spring and outdueled his more experienced competition to win the job, coach Mike Gundy announced Thursday.

[+] EnlargeWes Lunt
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiWes Lunt, pictured throwing in his team's spring game April 21, will keep the Cowboys playing fast and throwing downfield, coach Mike Gundy says.

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken informed Lunt on Thursday that he beat out redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and junior Clint Chelf. Lunt will be the first true freshman starter for Oklahoma State since Tone Jones in 1993, and no true freshman has ever started a season opener.

"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 in a statement. "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."

Said Lunt: "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."

Lunt won two state championships in Rochester, Ill., and threw for 3,650 yards, 31 touchdowns and four interceptions despite missing time early in the season with an injury.

"We like our system. We like the ability to play fast," Gundy said. "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."

Oklahoma State opens its season against Savannah State on Sept. 1.