STILLWATER – Not much seems to bother Brandon Weeden.
Not bull-rushing defensive ends. Not safeties blazing his way on a blitz.
Weeden's cool comfort is well documented, both on the field and off.
And yet there is just one button-pushing item that draws his ire – the topic of age, more specifically Weeden's age, 28. The topic arose again Monday, along with Weeden's new prominent place in the Heisman race.
Veteran USA Today college football writer Steve Wieberg dropped in to chat up the nation's No. 2 team, as well as its typically calm leader. Eventually the conversation shifted to Weeden's age and to comparisons to 2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, who took a similar baseball-back-to-football path and was an older quarterback.
Never one of Weeden's favorite talking points, the age discussion tested his patience quickly and returned a response when Wieberg pressed the issue.
“I'm so sick of talking about it,” Weeden said. “I know Aaron Rodgers is (younger) than I am. I've heard it 500 times.”
The age questions began a year ago and just keep coming, with every out-of-town reporter figuring he's stumbled on a fresh discussion and others firing away from all angles.
“It's everywhere,” Weeden said. “People who post on my Twitter. It's people I normally don't talk to, that's the first question they ask.”
And then there's those who wonder if Weeden's age shouldn't be a disqualifier to his Heisman candidacy.
“I would say (something), but there would be some expletives,” Weeden said. “It's B.S. On the ballot, there's not an age requirement. It's stupid. I'm sick of hearing about it. People need to find some new material. It's getting old real quick.”
Weeden, of course, is right. There are no age limitations on playing or awards voting, Heisman or otherwise, just as there are no rules against hitting older quarterbacks.
And it's not like Weeden is the first football player returning to campus following a shot at a pro career.
“There have been other guys who have tried it,” Weeden said. “There have been guys 24-, 25-, 26-years old who have tried it, maybe not had a whole lot of success, but they tried.
“We're just fortunate we've won a lot of games, there's a little more of a spotlight.”
Weeden, and Weinke before him, aren't alone in the age controversy.
Ichiro Suzuki came to the U.S. after a 9-year pro baseball career in Japan, then won the American League Rookie of the Year award at the age of 28.
Most of the other quarterbacks included in the Heisman conversation – Stanford's Andrew Luck, Boise State's Kellen Moore, Houston's Case Keenum, to name a few – have played more college snaps than Weeden. So in that regard, he's behind on the experience scale.
And yet, the age-old question inevitably comes up, at least now that Weeden keeps tacking on touchdowns and wins to his expanding resume as a starter.
Is it an unfair advantage? Should he be excluded from Heisman consideration?
“Some people thought he was too old to play,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy, “so now it's kind of going the other way on him. Until they rewrite the rule, I'd say that everybody's fair game.”
The age issue aside, Weeden said he's happy to be included in the Heisman discussion.
“I'm not going to sit here and say I'm not excited about it,” Weeden said. “That'd be lying. I'm really excited about it. But I'm also real excited about being 10-0. And I'd like to go 11-0. That's really my main focus.
“But we keep winning games, it'll all take care of itself.”