Sorting out spring QB battles

Updated: April 26, 2012, 5:38 PM ET
By Travis Haney

Editor's note: This article was adjusted Thursday to reflect the news of Wes Lunt being named Oklahoma State's starting quarterback.

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Give him this: Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy has been consistent in how insistent he has been about wanting to name a starting quarterback this spring, even though he's trying to fill the void left by Brandon Weeden, easily one of the school's most accomplished quarterbacks.

Gundy followed through on his promise Thursday, as true freshman Wes Lunt was named the Cowboys' starter.

While the first question that might come to mind is what about Lunt makes him good enough to seize the starting role as a true freshman, here's another good question for Gundy and coordinator Todd Monken: What was the rush in naming a starter?

As in a lot of other higher-profile programs, this was a too-close-to-call race for the entire spring. In OSU's case, it was between upperclassman Clint Chelf, redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and Lunt.

Gundy said he philosophically believes it's important to have a clear-cut starter to lead summer workouts and informal 7-on-7 sessions with teammates. Other coaches around the Big 12, and the country, have said they don't feel as if naming -- and maybe forcing -- a starter is all that important. Those coaches indicate that leadership is inherent and present beyond the No. 1 quarterback, at other positions such as center and middle linebacker.

But, hey, Gundy played QB in Stillwater, so he's got some credentials to preclude doubting his thought process. And there's the little fact the Cowboys just had the best season in school history, winning OSU's first Big 12 title and claiming a Fiesta Bowl victory against Stanford in Andrew Luck's final college game.

Regardless, the Cowboys' quarterback search provided an interesting dynamic, and one that is similar to a number of programs in the midst of a quarterback search: There was an older candidate with more time in the offense, even if he hadn't had a large number of snaps or throws. And then there was a younger suitor (or two or three) with raw potential and the related questions of whether he is ready to (1) play and (2) lead.