OSU football coach Mike Gundy: With freshman QB, Cowboys will lean on veterans for leadership

by Jason Kersey Published: July 24, 2012

Mike Gundy sat on the stage, answering a question about his Oklahoma State football program's stability, Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days.

Suddenly, loud chanting began seeping in from the next room.

Gundy was unfazed; he looked straight ahead and answered the question without so much as a pause during the ruckus.

After he was done, Gundy said, “I handled that pretty well; that was a pressure situation.

“I hope Wes Lunt handles it that well.”

Lunt, the true freshman Gundy has anointed as his next quarterback, will be under plenty of pressure as he begins his college career.

After enrolling early, Lunt won a three-way battle during the spring for the unenviable task of replacing Brandon Weeden, a first-round NFL Draft choice last April.

Coaches are unable to work with players through the summer, so Gundy hasn't been able to closely monitor his progress over the last several weeks.

“I haven't seen him in six weeks, eight weeks,” Gundy said. “I'm in and out of the office, and those guys are down on the bottom level training and throwing and going through strength and conditioning. I know he's been in the room studying tape.”

Gundy's Cowboys won their first-ever Big 12 Championship last season and were a double-overtime loss at Iowa State away from playing for the national championship.

Gone are Weeden and Justin Blackmon, both first-round NFL picks, but several key players are back.

Those veterans are the guys Gundy said will be important from a leadership standpoint.

“Wes Lunt is put in a situation where he has to structure and organize how things go during those workouts, but the veteran players have to be the ones that say, ‘You have to be on time; this is what we want to accomplish; this is how it's been done the last few years.'”

When asked who will be the go-to receiver now that Blackmon is gone, Gundy said it will take more than one player to make up for the two-time Biletnikoff Award winner.

“We want three or four of our receivers to give us this year what Justin Blackmon gave us last year,” Gundy said.

“It's an exciting time. There's always a lot of talk about losing players that have done well at Oklahoma State, but one thing we look forward to as coaches is the opportunity to watch young people grow.”

Gundy also spoke on other topics during his 20-minute session with Big 12 media.

On the defense, which led the nation in turnovers a year ago, and how that could help Lunt's development:

“There's no question the success we've had over the last few years is due to our success in the turnover margin. We've done a decent job of taking care of the ball on offense. We have to continue with it.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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