Spring Football: The Quarterback Derby

After watching Oklahoma State's Tuesday's scrimmage that was open to the media, I shared that I thought it was a brilliant move by head coach Mike Gundy. Quarterback play was solid by all three quarterbacks that saw action. Heck, walk-on Jake Hubenak came in and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kameron Doolittle, so all four quarterbacks that played were good.

Gundy has been touchy about media comments on the quarterbacks. I could see why as some last spring crossed over into advising quarterbacks that did not make the top of the depth chart look for other places to showcase their skills. No coach likes a media member messing with the roster, even in an advisory capacity.

I believe OU head coach Bob Stoops bristled pretty good when media suggested that Blake Bell might want to transfer after it became apparent that his hold on the quarterback position was over.

So I thought it was a deflecting development that speedy newcomer Tyreek Hill showed off during the scrimmage to the point that it might have blinded the attending media to the play of the quarterbacks, although it was solid.

Teammates have the right answer down as wide receiver Jhajuan Seales gave this assessment. "We have great quarterbacks," said Seales, who of course wants all the quarterbacks liking him because he likes to catch the football.

"Obviously, J.W. [Walsh] is a great leader. Daxx [Garman] and Mason [Rudolph] have been awesome, too. No matter who is back there, we will be in good hands."

That is the message. Quarterback is better now than it was collectively at this point last spring or than it was at this point in the spring of 2011. In my opinion, it is also organized as well.

J.W. Walsh is the most experienced and he is adept at operating the offense. He knows the decisions and how fast they have to be made. His arm is not the strongest, but it is plenty strong to make the throws.

Daxx Garman has a good understanding of the offense, lacks the game experience you'd like to see. But Brandon Weeden testified, and Gundy has alluded to as well, that Garman can really throw the football.

Youngster Mason Rudolph has a lot of ability and is familiar with this offense. He has a big arm, but you can see he is adjusting to the speed of the game. Rudolph gets better each and every practice.

All three quarterbacks have their place and their purpose. All three have a track they will be on. Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich may come around to my line of thinking that having two, even three quarterbacks, ready to play is a good thing. In Division I college football and especially in the Big 12 it can sometimes be a necessity.

I think I know the quarterback depth chart for next season, but there is still more spring to go. It also is not my decision. I am just an observer, but one that can appreciate all of them, Walsh, Garman, Rudolph and Hubenak. I believe in the more the merrier.

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