STILLWATER — J.W. Walsh pauses when asked to recall his late-April meeting with Todd Monken, the moment the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator told Walsh that Wes Lunt had been named the Cowboys' starting quarterback.
“Um,” Walsh says.
“It was hard,” Walsh says while sitting at his own table at Saturday's OSU Media Day. “But it is what it is. You've just got to keep moving on. You've got to keep progressing as a quarterback and helping the team progress.”
Walsh simply hates to lose. He thinks his competitive drive stems from his parents, John and Amber, who were never the mom and dad who just let their kid win when playing ball in the backyard. And that fire — which Monken simply refers to as “it” — is probably the quality OSU coaches like most about Walsh.
“No matter if it's with my 9-year-old sister or if it's against Oklahoma, there's always something I'm trying to compete for,” J.W. said.
Which is why J.W. never considered transferring when Lunt beat him out for the starting job.
“Not at all,” J.W. said. “Not for one second.”
Instead, J.W. went home to Denton, Texas, where his dad is the head coach at Guyer High School, this summer to work on the parts of his game Monken told him needed improving like footwork and mastering the playbook.
He also slightly adjusted his throwing motion to get more on top of the ball on his follow through.
“The past couple months before the summer, my arm wasn't, throwing-wise, what it needed to be to be a prostyle quarterback or throw the ball as many times as we do,” J.W. said. “(Adjusting my throwing motion) was nothing big or crazy, but it needed to be changed.”
Monken recently called J.W. “a runner who's developing as a thrower” and said the Cowboys ultimately would have needed to change their offensive system, one that has worked magically the past two seasons, if the redshirt-freshman had been named the starter.
His different skill set, however, is also precisely why Gundy and Monken have continued to say they are working to find a way to get J.W. on the field.