Mike Gundy believes Wes Lunt ultimately landed at the transfer destination he preferred all along, despite any restrictions originally put on the former Oklahoma State quarterback.
“He had everything he needed to move in the direction he wanted to move (to Illinois),” Gundy said Monday at Big 12 Media Days, in the coach’s first comments since Lunt left OSU following spring practice. “And I was comfortable in that in being a coach. There was so much talk about all different schools and this and that, which was, in my opinion, not what Wes wanted.”
Gundy received a fair amount of outside backlash when it surfaced that he would not release Lunt to any SEC or Pac-12 school, as well as Southern Miss or Central Michigan. Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Southern Miss were on Lunt’s original list of desired transfer options, along with Louisville and Illinois.
Lunt told a radio station in Illinois that Gundy eventually lifted those restrictions, though by then, he had lost touch with coaches at those schools.
When asked why he originally denied Lunt a release to certain schools, Gundy said he’d “be here for three days if we went over all of that” and that he sometimes has to make difficult decisions that he feels are best for this football team.
Then he provided Southern Miss, which is now coached by former OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken, as an example.
“(Lunt) never came to me and said he really wanted to go to Southern Miss,” Gundy said, “but I had set a standard years ago that if we had a coach leave, I would not release a player to follow that coach. I can’t let that start happening.
“You establish a policy. Now, do I know if all the policies that I establish are right? Probably not. But I have to have some sort of policy. It’s like disciplining your kid. You don’t know if it’s right or not, but you’ve got to do something.
“I think, in the end, the players on our team and Wes and myself were all on the same page, and I think he ended up exactly where he wanted to go.”
Gundy noted that he tried to convince Lunt to return to OSU for three days after the quarterback told him he intended to transfer.
And that end result, Gundy said, is the only part of the situation he wishes would have played out differently.
“What I wish would have changed is that we could have kept him,” Gundy said. “I tried. Nothing against (Clint) Chelf or J.W. (Walsh), but I think he’s a good young prospect. I was unsuccessful recruiting him for the second time.”