And that arm is what intrigued OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who is from Wheaton, Ill., and has family deeply rooted in the state's high school football scene. Monken first contacted Wes via Facebook, then came to watch him throw last spring.
“It was instant,” Leonard said of Monken's interest in Wes. “He said, ‘Hey, this is what we want.'”
Wes admits he hadn't thought much about OSU. He was in Big Ten country, after all. But Stillwater had a similar vibe as Rochester, a town about 10 miles southeast of Springfield with a population of about 3,000. He was drawn to Monken's fiery personality and knew how respected that family was in Illinois. And the Cowboys' high-powered, spread offense matched perfectly with the no-huddle, throw-first style he played in high school.
“It was kind of late in the recruiting process, but it was a great decision,” Wes said.
In June, Wes committed to the Cowboys. And since then, he, his family and the Rochester community have latched onto the school, following along as OSU captured its first outright conference title and 12-win season. Wes and his family visited Stillwater during Bedlam week and sat in the student section as the Cowboy faithful stormed the field after the 44-10 rout of the Sooners.
“It was a blast,” Wes said. “Craziest football game I've been to.”
And Wes has always had the opportunity to enroll at OSU for the spring semester. Monken and OSU coach Mike Gundy visited Wes a couple weeks ago to talk about that option, and after discussing it with his parents and Leonard, Wes decided to graduate high school early.
“It was a very difficult decision for Wes and his mom and I,” Andy Lunt said. “The commitment decision and the decision to come early was always (Wes') decision.
“I don't know his thought processes, but we supported him either way, and I know he's excited. At this point, he's made the decision, so he's ready to go.”
This week, Wes will start the transition to college life. Andy said his family will likely visit on the weekends as Wes gets settled into his new home.
Wes has never met Weeden, but he has had friendly conversation with Chelf and Walsh. In a couple months, they will all begin the competition for the starting job.
And Leonard likes Lunt's chances.
“It is tough as a freshman to play quarterback in college,” Leonard said. “It's a lot of pressure for a kid to have. But if anybody can do it, it's Wes.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
Wes Lunt will compete for the Cowboys' starting quarterback job as a true freshman, but here's a look at the other quarterbacks hoping to replace Brandon Weeden in 2012.
Clint Chelf, junior
Chelf has the most experience, completing 20 of his 30 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns as Weeden's backup in 2011.
J.W. Walsh, redshirt freshman
Walsh, who did not play in 2011, compares more to Zac Robinson than Weeden. That means OSU would have to tweak its offense to cater to Walsh's strengths.