Gundy: Oklahoma State QB battle still on

Immediately following Oklahoma State’s “Orange Blitz” open practice on April 5, coach Mike Gundy agreed that J.W. Walsh had seized control of the quarterback competition.

But Tuesday during the Big 12 coaches spring teleconference, Gundy held off on naming Walsh his starter for the Cowboys’ opener against Florida State -- despite how inevitable it seems.

“We had a really good competition throughout the spring,” he said. “It’ll continue on.”

The Cowboys have two challengers to Walsh in walk-on Daxx Garman and freshman Mason Rudolph, who enrolled early to participate in spring ball.

Garman, who might have the strongest arm of the bunch, progressed rapidly during the spring, but he injured his knee and missed the last week of spring ball.

Rudolph was rated as the nation’s No. 8 pocket-passing quarterback, making him one of the most highly touted quarterbacks ever to sign with Oklahoma State. Rudolph had his moments this spring, including a long touchdown pass in the Orange Blitz.

But Rudolph didn’t make the same splash that Wes Lunt did in 2012. Lunt beat out Walsh and Clint Chelf that year to win the starting job coming out of spring ball as a true freshman.

Still, because Garman and Rudolph were getting significant reps this spring for the first time in their college careers, the possibility for growth is there. That might be one reason why Gundy held off on naming Walsh the starter.

“Daxx Garman, who’s been in our program, had a really good spring,” Gundy said. “Then we obviously we had the freshman, Mason Rudolph, that was here that was learning and getting better each day.”

Walsh remains the overwhelming favorite to lead the Cowboys offense against the Seminoles. That became evident during the spring, even to the players.

“J-Dub has been the most consistent,” running back Desmond Roland told ESPN.com earlier this month. “He’s the first one in the weight room, the last one to leave. First one to watch film, first one out before practice, last one to leave.

“So, I believe he’s going to be one."

But Walsh isn’t the one just yet. At least not according to Gundy.

“Those three guys need to compete,” Gundy said. “They need to put their time and effort in the summer and the offseason and develop their leadership skills during the conditioning with the team.

“And then we’ll let 'em go at it for the first 15 days or so of fall camp.”