STILLWATER — J.W. Walsh lost his quarterback job last October. He didn’t lose his status on the Oklahoma State football team.
Walsh’s leadership with the Cowboys is unassailable. Ask any Cowboy about Walsh, and you know what kind of answer you’ll get.
“Obviously, J.W. is a great leader,” said receiver Jhajuan Seales.
Walsh’s leadership skills have been tested often in his years on campus
* A three-man quarterback derby in spring 2012, won by a true freshman, Wes Lunt, which would discourage any veteran.
* An injury in October 2012, which ended Walsh’s four-game run as the quarterback, during which he completed 67 percent of his passes and averaged 329 passing yards per game.
* Losing the job in midseason 2013 to Clint Chelf, who took the Cowboys within a whisker of a Big 12 title.
Through it all, Walsh has remained the stoic and loyal Cowboy.
Tailback Des Roland called Walsh the “unknown leader. Even though he got his spot took last year, he still was the hardest worker in practice and the weight room. It’s going to pay off for him this season.”
Walsh is in another quarterback derby, and another true freshman, Mason Rudolph, appears to be Walsh’s chief competition. But this race looks less open. Walsh still doesn’t have the arm strength desired in the Cowboy offense, but his intangibles have grown so much over the last three years, it will be difficult to relegate him to the bench.