STILLWATER — Six-year-old Karsen Twyman clutched a white Oklahoma State mini helmet and approached the final Cowboy seated at a line of tables in one section of Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“What's your name?” the dark-haired player dressed in a black shirt and shorts asked Twyman.
“Nice to meet you. I'm Wes.”
Saturday's Fan Appreciation Day was Lunt's first real opportunity to introduce himself to the Cowboy faithful face-to-face. Because in a lot of ways, the true freshman quarterback who has been tabbed the Cowboys' starter is still a mysterious fellow.
He's from Rochester, Ill., which means the only high school football the average fan saw him play likely came from YouTube. Perhaps they saw him take a third of OSU's snaps in its spring finale. They for sure have not seen or heard any quotes from him in the press since he arrived in Stillwater because of coach Mike Gundy's policy that does not allow first-year players to do media interviews.
So Saturday's autograph event was the chance for Cowboy supporters to interact with the 18-year-old signal-caller — although it was an often brief exchange.
Lunt was quiet but friendly, which is consistent with the personality teammates and coaches say he's displayed so far at OSU. He often did not offer much more than a “how you doing?” as a greeting, a “thank you very much” when congratulated on earning the starting nod or an “I will try” when told he was expected to play well.
One lady patted Lunt's back and said, “We've got a lot believing in you” as she walked away. Some quickly snuck in cellphone photos, which weren't allowed at the event, before a staff member saw. Many shook his hand.
One fan, Mark Gold, practically hoisted his young son, Brett, onto Lunt's lap so he could sign the orange No. 11 jersey he was wearing.
“He looks young,” Gold said when asked about his first impressions of Lunt.
But that doesn't mean he's not confident Lunt can successfully orchestrate the Cowboys' high-powered, spread offense as a true freshman.
“The coaches here are so good and so smart,” Gold said. “For them to put him ahead of a lot of veterans that have been here like (Clint) Chelf, I think he must be amazing.”
Added lifelong Cowboy fan Edward Stevenson: “Those coaches are here for a reason, and I think he deserves a shot. He might as well get a shot early.”
If Lunt hadn't perfected his autograph while practically reaching celebrity status in his small hometown of Rochester, he likely mastered it Saturday while signing several hundred footballs, helmets, posters and other memorabilia. All the while, reporters hovered and cameras zoomed in, trying to capture a sound bite or perfect shot of Brandon Weeden's successor.
Around 4:15 p.m., with more than 20 people still waiting for autographs, a staff member told Lunt it was time to leave. He quickly slinked out, practically unnoticed.
Those fans will see him again Sept. 1 against Savannah State.