Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy doesn't allow first-year players to talk with the media. Last season, he proved that rule applies even if a player is his starting quarterback. Perhaps the rule even particularly applies in that case.
Regardless, Wes Lunt turned heads this time last year when he won the spring quarterback competition to replace Brandon Weeden in Stillwater. He didn't turn a single ear, though, because Gundy kept media microphones away.
That ended Wednesday night when Lunt, now a second-year sophomore, met with the local media after one of Oklahoma State's first practices of the spring.
"The best way to describe it is a rollercoaster. I had so many ups and downs," Lunt told reporters. "That’s expected your freshman year, but I’ve got to thank my team and my coaches for backing me up all the way."
Lunt completed the first 11 passes of his career in an 84-0 victory against FCS doormat Savannah State, but his first road start ended in a loss to an upstart Arizona team a week later. Lunt (and anyone who saw the replay) feared his season was over when he dislocated his kneecap and suffered a high ankle sprain in an ugly-looking injury early in Oklahoma State's win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 15.
The injury wasn't as serious as feared, and Lunt returned to start in a win over TCU on Oct. 27 and again a week later against Kansas State before throwing three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and suffering a concussion.
He's back this spring competing again with Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh, though the job is Chelf's for now after he helped Oklahoma State close the season strong with blowout wins over Texas Tech, West Virginia and Purdue sandwiched around narrow losses to Oklahoma and Baylor.
"It’s a competition between all three. Clint is getting the most reps, which he should -- he did a great job ending the season," Lunt told reporters. "J.W. and I are going to push him every day and whatever happens, happens."
Lunt admitted he was "shocked" when he was named the starter last spring as a freshman who wasn't quite sure what to expect and what a collegiate starter really looked like. Apparently, it looked like him.
"They get along real well and I think that speaks volumes about their maturity level and who they are as people," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich told reporters of the quarterbacks. Yurcich chose to refrain from commenting further on the competition until he'd seen more of the trio up close in practice.
"I know they care more about this program than they do their individual needs and that’s when you know you’ve got something special -- when you see unselfishness, you see leadership and you see those qualities and those young men have that."