Oklahoma State featured three quarterbacks that all proved to be relatively effective last season. Clint Chelf was the last man standing when all was said and done, leading OSU Football to a Heart of Dallas Bowl win, but J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt also played well when given the opportunity last year. Injuries created an impromptu rotation for the three quarterbacks, and OSU has a quarterback controversy brewing again in 2013 as a result.
Coming into the season, Chelf tops the depth chart. Coach Mike Gundy said that Chelf’s strong performances down the stretch have earned him the right to enter the preseason as OSU football’s tentative starter. However, with a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Chelf’s position is far from secure.
Chelf completed better than 60 percent of his passes as a versatile threat that led the OSU offense down the stretch. His impressive 15 touchdowns, compared to just six interceptions, helped make the Oklahoma State offense more dangerous. He can throw and run, but the Cowboys were just 3-2 with him at the helm.
As last year’s preseason No. 3 quarterback, Chelf may concede the starting position to the more talented Walsh and Lunt after finding his way onto the field only after injuries incapacitated both of OSU’s other options.
As a true freshman, Lunt started the season as OSU’s starting quarterback, but the results were riddled with mistakes. The future of OSU football is bright as Lunt develops, but he didn’t appear ready last season. He threw for six touchdowns, but also coughed up seven interceptions. He is the most dynamic passer on the roster, but perhaps a redshirt season could benefit Lunt as two other capable quarterbacks are already on the roster.
Rounding out the battle is Walsh, a running quarterback that may have the weakest arm, put up the most impressive statistics of any OSU quarterback when healthy. Completing more than two-thirds of his passes for over 1500 yards, Walsh’s supposed inability to pass seemed exaggerated.
Walsh is tough, the team responds to him, and he doesn’t turn the ball over as frequently as his competition. He thrived in a change-of-pace role and may stay as a short-yardage option, but he could easily win the starting job.
What might be best for the long-term success of OSU football could be to utilize the combination of J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf, while red-shirting Wes Lunt as a sophomore. Walsh and Chelf proved to be an effective tandem, while the talented Lunt struggled in limited action.