OSU football: Weeden accepting role
When Mike Leach went Texas Tech in 2000, he found a sophomore quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury, who had received invaluable playing time the previous season. When Leach’s disciple, Dana Holgorsen, went to Houston U. in 2008 as offensive coordinator, he found the exact same, in Case Keenum.
But when Leach went to OU in 1999, he found a quarterback wasteland and beat the bushes to sign an unheralded junior-college QB, Josh Heupel.
Holgorsen has arrived at Oklahoma State with the Hal Mumme/Leach/Holgorsen spread offense, and his quarterback situation is somewhere in between. No experienced hand, but at least someone who’s been on campus.
Brandon Weeden is a 26-year-old former minor-league baseball player who is in his fourth year on the OSU campus. His playing time is virtual nil, other than the stirring second-half comeback against Colorado he engineered last November with Zac Robinson injured.
OSU coach Mike Gundy always has said Weeden hasn’t been too studious when it comes to football. It’s as if Weeden knew the job was Robinson’s. Heck, Weeden probably knew the backupjob wasn’t his, since in that Colorado game, OSU started Alex Cate, who was incredibly ineffective before Gundy switched to Weeden at halftime, and the results were stunning. Weeden completed 10 of 15 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns; OSU won 31-28.
Now there is no debate. Weeden is the starter, and Gundy says Weeden has assumed the role in every aspect. Including being studious.
“Weeden is putting the time in,” Gundy said. “He’s a different person right now. He’s around the office all the time.” Gundy said he once joked with Weeden about Peyton Manning, how the Indianapolis Colts quarterback spends so much time around the football complex and how there had to be a correlation to Manning’s production and the Colts’ success.
Weeden apparently has taken the jab to heart. “I see him sitting around, talking with coaches all the time,” Gundy said. “He’s accepted that role. I think he’ll play well. He’s showing good leadership skills.”
Kingsbury became a great quarterback at Tech. Keenum became a Heisman Trophy contender at Houston. Heupel was a consensus all-American at OU. OSU would settle for Weeden being all-Big 12 in a conference that has lost its stash of great quarterbacks. Do not underestimate the impact Holgorsen and his offense can have on a quarterback.
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