OSU Media Relations
STILLWATER, Okla. – Citing what was best for the team’s chances to score points and win games, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy named early-enrollee freshman Wes Lunt as the starter at quarterback today.
The last true freshman to start a game at quarterback for the Cowboys was Toné Jones in 1993, but a look through the OSU record books shows no true freshman having started a season opener since at least 1950.
Lunt earned the job after competing alongside junior Clint Chelf and redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh during the spring. The three split equal reps with the starting offense.
“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.”
Lunt said he got the news when offensive coordinator Todd Monken called him into his office for a short visit Thursday morning.
“I’m overwhelmed. It’s such a humbling experience,” Lunt said. “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 graduated early from Rochester HS in Rochester, Ill., where he led his team to a pair of state championships and was recognized as the Player of the Year in Illinois by the Springfield News Gazette. Despite missing the early part of his senior year to injury, Lunt still passed for 3,650 yards with 31 touchdowns against only four interceptions this past fall.
Playing in an offensive system similar to that of Oklahoma State’s in high school, Lunt completed 73 percent of his passes as a senior and set a state record with 590 passing yards in a single game. He also holds state records for passing yards and completions in a state championship game. Over his last two seasons, Lunt amassed more than 7,000 passing yards, had 65 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
A self-described drop-back passer, Lunt has drawn comparisons to OSU’s record-breaking quarterback Brandon Weeden, who led the Cowboy program to new heights as the starter the last two seasons.
“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.