DALLAS — Brandon Weeden is the best in the Big 12.
Debate the league's best quarterback all you want — is it the Oklahoma State quarterback or his Oklahoma counterpart Landry Jones? — but there's no argument about the conference's most engaging personality. Even with schools sending hand-picked representatives to tout their teams at Big 12 Media Days, Weeden has no equal.
“This is what he was made to do,” Cowboy wide receiver Justin Blackmon said glancing at his tag-team partner.
Weeden was surrounded by reporters Monday afternoon but looked completely at ease. He smiled freely. He talked candidly. He sat comfortably.
The kicker — Weeden had been doing interviews almost nonstop for more than five hours.
“This, to me, is fun,” he said.
You can tell that Weeden isn't fibbing. There is excitement in his voice when he talks about playing one more year at OSU. There is wonder when he talks about playing in places like Austin or College Station.
“That's pretty cool to me,” he said.
“I'm living the dream, you know?”
OSU has no better spokesperson than Weeden. Not athletic director Mike Holder. Not president Burns Hargis. Not even mega-booster Boone Pickens.
All three of the Pokes' power brokers are articulate and well-spoken, but you expect them to represent the university well. They're professionals. They're seasoned. They're veterans.
Weeden is a twentysomething whose maturity never ceases to impress.
A year ago, he arrived at Media Days as an unknown.
“People were looking at my nametag wondering who I was,” he recalled.
Well, that's not entirely true. People knew he was the replacement for Zac Robinson. Weeden was the minor league pitcher turned college quarterback. The old guy.
But he wowed media types with his charisma.
Then, he went out and wowed everyone with his ability. He threw for 34 touchdowns and 4,277 yards, led OSU to a school-record 11 wins and became the Cowboys' first-ever all-conference quarterback.
Needless to say, his trip to Media Days this year was a little different from last year. Every radio station wanted a sitdown. Every TV type wanted an exclusive. Every print reporter wanted a minute.
But Weeden was as accommodating as ever.
Told that he had only seven minutes for lunch before going to national television interviews, he still stopped to do a local television interview. He never made it to the lunch line. Someone had to bring him a plate.
It'd be easy to say all of this is because of his age. No doubt that makes a difference — there aren't too many 27 year olds playing college football — but that doesn't explain everything. You could insert someone 10 or 20 years older into Weeden's spot, and they wouldn't necessarily do as well.
This guy is unique. Engaging. Dynamic. Smart.
“He was like that when he was a freshman,” said Kevin Klintworth, who heads up media relations for OSU athletics. “That's what's really different. When he was a freshman, I wished right then that he could talk to the media.”
The Cowboys aren't without capable spokesmen. Blackmon is sharp. Markelle Martin, who was also in Dallas, is thoughtful. Richetti Jones is loquacious.
But Weeden is all of those things.
OSU is the beneficiary.
“It's a good thing that we've got a lot of buzz generated around Oklahoma State,” Weeden said. “It's fun being a Cowboy.”