STILLWATER — Todd Monken never envisioned Wes Lunt transferring to Southern Miss.
And that was well before Friday's news that Monken's new school is one of many — along with all schools from the Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Central Michigan — that Oklahoma State is blocking as potential destinations for the for the former Cowboys quarterback.
Instead, Monken said, he tried to steer Lunt back to Stillwater once learning of his decision to leave the Cowboys.
“I told Derek Leonard, his high school coach, that the best thing for Wes would be to call Mike (Gundy) and tell him he'd made a mistake and he was coming back,” said Monken, the Southern Miss coach who recruited Lunt to OSU while offensive coordinator for the Cowboys.
“Stay there and compete, where they have good players and he has a chance to be successful for years to come. That would be the best thing for Wes.”
Monken said he hasn't talked to Lunt, and despite all the natural connecting of dots linking the two, didn't foresee a good match. Still, according to sources, Lunt asked for a release to five schools: Southern Miss, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Louisville.
Now, scratch the two SEC schools and Southern Miss from those preferences, plus a bevy of others, with sources close to the situation confirming the list of blocked schools, limiting Lunt's options to move without consequence. He could still choose to attend one of the blocked schools, but could not be placed on scholarship for a season and would have to sit out a year.
If Lunt chose a Big 12 school, he would also forfeit a year of eligibility.
A source told The Oklahoman that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has inquired with Lunt's high school coaches in Rochester, Ill., about potential interest in the Irish.
Still, Lunt's possibilities for playing for a power-conference school have dwindled. Same for Southern Miss and Central Michigan, the latter of which is on OSU's schedule in 2015 and 2016.
Lunt won the starting job last spring, just months after leaving high school early. Injuries interrupted his season, with Clint Chelf finishing the season as No. 1 and J.W. Walsh the backup.
This spring, Gundy first named Chelf the clear starter, then recanted, saying the three-way competition was ongoing. On May 9, OSU revealed Lunt's decision to transfer.