“He's a once-in-a-life quarterback,” said Leonard, the son of legendary Illinois high school coach Ken Leonard. “Oklahoma State (is) so lucky, because he's going to play on Sundays one day. I've seen a lot of high school quarterbacks, I've never seen any of them throw the ball like him.
“He doesn't even know the offense yet, and he still competed. To earn the starting job in that kind of offense like that — a no-huddle, fast, throw-it-around attack — you have to be special.”
The decision to name Lunt the No. 1 quarterback was made following a Wednesday meeting between Gundy and Monken. Gundy had been adamant all spring about wanting to name a starter following spring practice, so that player could organize and lead summer workouts and begin fall camp getting approximately 75 percent of the reps.
Entering the spring generally regarded as the third quarterback in line for the job, Lunt emerged as a legitimate contender about midway through the 15 workouts, Monken said following Saturday's spring finale. Monken and Gundy have both praised Lunt's maturity, arm strength and ability to quickly pick up OSU's spread offense.
“Through me dog-cussing the crap out of him and (him) screwing stuff up,” Monken said, “he was able to function without basically just going in the tank and quitting ...
“His body language doesn't change. It's so similar to Brandon (Weeden) in that regard. Everything just kind of goes. When he gets excited, you hardly even know it. (The ball) doesn't always come out exactly the way you like, but he's an accurate son of a gun, now. That ball's on the money and he's got a calm demeanor about him.”
And throughout the spring, Wes was also simply trying to adjust to college life. He was homesick at first. He'd call his family frequently, and both Andy and Leonard visited Stillwater at earlier this month.
Andy admits that there were some mixed emotions when Gundy and Monken first visited Rochester last winter to talk about the possibility of Wes enrolling early at OSU and participating in spring ball. They assured the family that Wes had a real opportunity to win the starting job. Andy now knows it was all “well worth it.”
“It's an opportunity that they gave him,” Andy said. “And I know that he felt like he needed to capitalize on it.”
The Lunt family has already planned to see Wes' first start against Savannah State on Sept. 1. Wes' older brother, Wil, is a quarterback for Western Illinois and plays on Thursday, Aug. 30. Then they will all road-trip to Stillwater.
Leonard is quite busy on weekends in the fall, but he said he'll also figure out a way to see Wes play in his freshman season.
“To do what he's done, when you look at the whole picture, it truly is amazing,” Leonard said. “That's how special a player and person he is.”