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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' quarterback race features same guys, different situations

Published: March 2, 2013
/articleid/3760788/1/pictures/1967763">Photo - OSU quarterbacks, from left, J.W. Walsh, Clint Chelf and West Lunt will battle once again for the job as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback.  PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, The Oklahoman Archive
OSU quarterbacks, from left, J.W. Walsh, Clint Chelf and West Lunt will battle once again for the job as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, The Oklahoman Archive

* Strengths: Walsh is a dynamic athlete, possessing a combination of toughness and speed that makes him a dangerous running threat. He's also known as one of the team's best natural leaders and is the definition of a “gamer.”

* Spring goal: Walsh needs to show improved arm strength, especially in this system. Even during his largely successful stint as the starter, it was easy to pick up on his inability to make the necessary throws to the outside receivers.

* Why he'll win the starting job: Walsh has an “it” factor and savvy playmaking ability that can't be taught, and is especially valuable at the quarterback position.

* Why he won't: His arm deficiencies are ultimately too much to overcome. And his change-of-pace running ability was a key part of the Cowboys' offense by season's end.


* 2012 stats: 61.8 completion percentage, 1,108 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions

* 2012 summary: After winning the starting job out of spring as a true freshman, multiple injuries derailed Lunt's rookie campaign. He started five games, including a victory over TCU in late October, and passed for an OSU freshman record 436 yards in a loss at Arizona. Following a concussion that knocked him out of the Kansas State contest on Nov. 3, Lunt's only other game action came late in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

* Strengths: Lunt's big arm, accuracy and size still make him the most natural fit on the roster to run the Cowboys' system. Coaches and teammates were also impressed with Lunt's ability to quickly pick up the offense, as well as his calm and composed demeanor.  

* Spring goal: First, stay healthy. Lunt has sustained three fairly significant injuries dating back to his senior year of high school. Beyond that, Lunt needs to continue to develop, particularly in his decision-making, and remind coaches and teammates why he won the job last spring. He's now gone through the complete football year, so there shouldn't be any surprises.

* Why he'll win the starting job: He had all the tools to run this offense as a true freshman, and he should only continue to improve in his second spring. A healthy Lunt is still likely the ultimate answer at the position, and the future could still be now.

* Why he won't: With Chelf taking control of the starting job down the stretch in 2012, could Lunt be a candidate to redshirt while Chelf finishes his career?


* 2012 stats: None        

* 2012 summary: Garman ran the scout team offense while redshirting after transferring from Arizona.

* Strengths: Gundy has openly complimented Garman's arm strength.

* Spring goal: As the scout team quarterback, Garman never got the chance to prove he could run the Cowboys' system. He'll need to take advantage of any reps he gets during the spring.

* Why he'll win the starting job: Garman is clearly the dark horse and long shot in this race. But last season's quarterback carousel showed strange things can happen.

* Why he won't: The other three quarterbacks have way too much experience for Garman to legitimately establish himself as a contender in this competition.


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