STILLWATER — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy plans to meet with offensive coordinator Todd Monken and the rest of the Cowboys' offensive staff Wednesday to discuss the quarterback battle that took place this spring. The hope is to name a starter shortly after the meeting.
Here's a look at what it would mean for the Cowboys if each of the three contenders won the job — or if the Cowboys opt to continue the competition into the summer.
If Clint Chelf wins the job:
Pros: In Chelf, the Cowboys hand the reins to the only quarterback in the program with game experience and the only one to work in OSU's spread attack since Dana Holgorsen installed it. And as a fourth-year junior, he is well-known and, by all accounts, a well-respected by his teammates.
Cons: Chelf didn't perform well enough to beat out a pair of freshmen and earn the starting nod before the spring ended. That's not a good sign for him. One of the big questions regarding Chelf from Gundy and Monken entering the spring was his leadership ability. That quality will be crucial in organizing summer workouts.
Todd Monken's take: “I can't remember ups and downs with Clint. He's been pretty steady.”
If J.W. Walsh wins the job:
Pros: Monken raves about Walsh's leadership, which likely makes him the guy most equipped to run summer workouts. His athleticism and ability to make plays with his legs would add an extra dimension to OSU's spread offense.
Cons: Walsh's arm strength has improved, but that needs to continue in order to direct what is primarily a throw-first offense. He admits he hit a funk during the middle of the spring, and too much inconsistency (or too many turnovers) would likely lead to getting benched in the fall.
Todd Monken's take: “J.W. started the spring relatively strong. The middle of spring, I thought he struggled for whatever reason — maybe he just put too much pressure on himself. And then I thought the last few days, including (Saturday), I thought he played his best football.”
If Wes Lunt wins the job:
Pros: The tall, big-armed quarterback is the best fit to run the current version of OSU's spread offense. The fact that he stayed in this race all through spring is a very positive sign. It became clear about midway through workouts that Lunt was picking up the offense quickly enough and had the type of demeanor that made him a legitimate candidate for the job. Going through OSU's summer program and fall camp should only help him improve — especially if he starts getting 75 percent of the reps.
Cons: Will a true freshman demand the respect necessary to organize summer workouts? Starting a true freshman quarterback is always risky, no matter how talented he is.
Todd Monken's take: “Through me dog-cussing ... him and screwing stuff up, 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.”
If the Cowboys do not name a starter on Wednesday:
Pros: Keeping the competition open will give coaches 29 more practices to evaluate each contender before naming a starter for the season opener. And if all three quarterbacks are still in the running, it all but eliminates the chance of one transferring.
Cons: The Cowboys will need another leader — perhaps someone like Joseph Randle or Daytawion Lowe — to run the summer workouts. And if OSU does not have a clear-cut starter now, will it by Sept. 1?