Lunt Named Cowboys' Starter

All the talk and speculation finally has an answer — Wes Lunt has been named Oklahoma State's starting quarterback. The early-enrollee true freshman from Rochester, Ill., was announced as the starter by Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and his staff on Thursday morning.

Lunt beat out redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and junior Clint Chelf in a heated three-man battle for the job this spring that concluded with Saturday's Spring Finale at Boone Pickens Stadium. Lunt completed 15-of-23 passes for 215 yards with two touchdowns in the scrimmage.

Gundy spoke about the decision on Thursday.

"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."

Gundy, who started as a freshman at OSU as well, made Lunt the Cowboys' first true freshman starter since Toné Jones in 1993. No true freshman has started the season opener under center for OSU since at least 1950.

"I'm overwhelmed; it's such a humbling experience," Lunt said in a press release. "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 provides the OSU offense with the least adjustment from last season's aerial attack because of his drop-back style. Another benefit working in Lunt's favor is the offense he ran at Rochester High School, where he won two state championships.

"(It was) a lot like OSU. That's why I picked OSU," Lunt said. "I liked Coach Monken and Coach Gundy and the offense. I like the spread."

Not only was Lunt in a similar system, he was prolific in it. In his final high school game, Lunt threw for an Illinois State-record 493 yards on 29-of-35 passing with three touchdowns to win the state title. Lunt also has great size at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds.

"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.

"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."

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