Don't Expect Chemistry Issues At Quarterback

One thing is evident when watching the Oklahoma State Cowboys in spring practice. While the quarterbacks are competing for the starting job and trying to put their best foot forward to show head coach Mike Gundy and new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich they are the best man for the job, it is not a situation where the competitors don't get along.

No one has to worry when a fellow quarterback hands them a Gatorade. When a quarterback makes a mistake on a call at the line of scrimmage, one of the others is shouting out a warning rather than letting the quarterback taking the rep have a bad play.

Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh, Wes Lunt and newcomer Daxx Garman are all smiles and all complimentary with each other. To be honest, they are all good friends and really like to see each other play well. Each will admit they want to be the best of the best.

"We all understand that we are pulling toward the same goal and they are young guys so I am trying to help them as much as I can," said Clint Chelf, who ended the season as the starting quarterback in the bowl victory over Purdue.

"I would definitely say it is a special relationship in that we are a trio that are all proven to a degree. We all try to help each other out. I would say it is the most unique situation in the country. It's a blessing and a tribute to the coach's recruiting," said Chelf.

"Clint is the veteran and he took me under his wing last spring," said Lunt on Wednesday while speaking to the media for the first time after serving the year probation of watching and listening but not talking that Gundy has with first-year players.

"It is a very healthy relationship and we all have fun with each other and know how to joke around and, at the same time, we get stuff done and are serious about it," said Lunt.

Gundy said that he had no doubt that Chelf would be the first quarterback in the rotation in the spring. That is not like it was last spring with the quarterbacks taking turns. Chelf takes the first reps each day but all three quarterbacks get the same number of reps, and Gundy emphasized that any of them could win the job. The dynamics are a little different this spring than they were a year ago.

It's hard to imagine in this world of what have you done for me lately and what's in it for me that the three quarterbacks help each other so much, get along so well and nobody seems to be looking at filling out transfer papers if they don't get what they want.

"They get along real well and I think speaks volumes on the maturity level and who they are as people," said new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, a pair of fresh eyes that will make this spring's competition a little different.

"I know they care more about this program than they do about their individual needs. That is when you know you've got something special when you see unselfishness and you see leadership, and all three of those young men have that," added Yurcich.

Now don't think that Chelf, Walsh and Lunt are standing there saying, "here, you take my reps." All three enjoy playing and all three had great success last season. That is a huge part of what makes this situation different from any other in the nation.

There are other schools with three quarterbacks battling for the starting job, but there is no other school where the three quarterbacks battling are all as proven with conference wins, games with more than 330 passing yards, and games with four touchdown passes thrown.

All three accomplished those feats last year but all pushing themselves and each other to get better.

"Anytime you are going into a competition like we're going into you want to have your strengths magnified and one way to do that is to minimize your weaknesses," Chelf said. "We all went into this spring knowing what our weaknesses were and we all worked on those in the weight room, running and in the meeting room."

Lunt said, "Just getting better and competing with Clint and J.W. (Walsh) brings the best out of you and we all want this football team to get as good as it can."

It's really interesting to see the walk-through the offense goes through before practice and how the quarterbacks and their body language shows how well they get along and like each other.

It happens when whichever quarterback is playing comes off the field to the sidelines. If it's after a touchdown there are high fives all around. If it is a bad series or turnover then there is the meeting of the minds to try to find the correction to get that quarterback back on his feet.

There really is no other situation like it in all of college football and it's in Stillwater, Okla., at Oklahoma State University. The thing is that relationship won't change when spring ends and one of the three is named the starter for the Mississippi State game on Aug. 31 and the other two have to start out the season in support on the sidelines. This trio knows all too well how quickly things can change.


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