STILLWATER — There's no better way to kick off football practice than with a good ol' quarterback battle.
Or backup quarterback battle.
When the Oklahoma State Cowboys open fall camp today at 4:45 p.m., the top priority for coach Mike Gundy will be to figure out which of his young quarterbacks will be second-string behind starter Zac Robinson.
Sophomore Alex Cate and redshirt freshman Brandon Weeden will get an equal shot to win the job, but Gundy hopes to work quickly in making the decision.
"We'd really like to have that position solidified by the middle of fall camp,” he said.
"We're gonna give them equal reps and an opportunity to earn the second spot. They had good springs, but nobody really stepped out and said, ‘OK, I'm the No. 2 guy.'”
The importance of selecting a backup as soon as possible is two-fold: First, neither Cate nor Weeden has any meaningful game experience, so it will be key for the second-stringer to get as many snaps in camp as possible.
Second, Robinson is known for running and taking hits, heightening the possibility of injury.
The Cate-Weeden duel will be an interesting one, considering the backgrounds of the two players.
Cate, a Salt Lake City native, is the son of a former college quarterback and spent his high school career at Cottonwood High in a spread offense much like OSU's.
"He had a great ability to put the ball in tight places, right where you want it,” Cottonwood coach Tom Jones said in February 2006, when Cate signed with the Cowboys.