STILLWATER — First, Oklahoma State's quarterback carousel scrapped the plan to use J.W. Walsh in a specialty package, because he needed to start in place of an injured Wes Lunt.
Then, Walsh's own knee injury took him off the field for three games.
But then in the final month of the season, we saw Walsh enter the game in short-yardage and goal-line situations, using his athleticism and grit to power his way into the end zone and occasionally lofting balls to Kye Staley and Jeremy Seaton for scores.
Should Clint Chelf, as expected, win the Cowboys' starting quarterback job, Walsh will still have that package role. That is established.
But could Walsh's role expand even more in 2013? Perhaps.
Reports out of camp indicate Walsh has continued to progress — and impress. He's also viewed as one of the team's top leaders. And new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has experience game-planning to a quarterback who's more dual-threat than pure Air Raid, as Shippensburg's Zach Zulli tallied 102 carries and rushed for two scores in addition to putting up eye-popping passing numbers (4,747 yards, 54 touchdowns).