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OSU football: A true freshman starting QB would be rare but not unprecedented

If he wins the job, Wes Lunt will be OSU's first true freshman starter since Tone Jones in 1993. But it's an uncommon feat in college football.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: April 20, 2012

But there have also been stories like Tate Forcier, who started every game for Michigan as a freshman in 2009, then transferred to San Jose State in 2011 before withdrawing from that school because of academics. Or Terrelle Pryor, who starred for Ohio State for three seasons but then withdrew from the school following an NCAA investigation that would have suspended him for the first five games of 2011 for selling memorabilia. Or Mitch Mustain, who went 8-0 as Arkansas' starter but faded out of college football after transferring to USC and getting beat out by Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley for the starting job there.

Yet Gundy and offensive coordinator Todd Monken clearly saw potential in Lunt, enough to visit him in his home in Rochester, Ill. to convince him to enroll at OSU early and compete for the starting job in spring practice. And though fellow early enrollee quarterbacks like Notre Dame's Gunner Kiel, California's Zach Kline and Texas A&M's Matt Davis were ranked higher by recruiting services than Lunt, they are currently buried on their team's depth chart, not in serious consideration to be the No. 1 quarterback.

Is part of that based on the programs' situations? Absolutely. Is it also part ability and growth? Absolutely.

“The fairest way to put it is, for where he is at in his career, in his age, in his life, he's further along than what I thought he would have been at this point,” Gundy said. “I don't know any other way to say it. He's done really well out here of not being flustered, and that's part of it. He's got to learn things happen and don't get flustered.”


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