After weeks of anticipation, Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys announced Thursday that Wes Lunt will be their starting quarterback this season.
"Our offensive staff and myself have decided that Wes Lunt will be our starting quarterback for the first game in September," said Mike Gundy in a release Thursday morning.
"I'm overwhelmed. It's such a humbling experience," Lunt said. "Coming in early, I knew I had a chance to compete for the job and to get it is just overwhelming. I know that we're still going to compete through summer and two-a-days, so it's not over."
"We had to make a decision based on what we thought was best for our offense to score points and then give us the best chance to win football games," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy. "All three players had good springs, but at some point, the decision is made on the field. There's always a comment about who coaches are going to name as the starter at any position, but the coaches usually don't make that decision - the decision is made by the players. Wes performed better than the other two quarterbacks in the spring."
Lunt said he got the news when offensive coordinator Todd Monken called him into his office for a short visit Thursday morning. He earned the job after competing alongside redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and junior Clint Chelf throughout the spring.
The 18-year old replaces the 28 year old former starter Brandon Weeden who will take part in this year's NFL draft that begins Thursday in New York.
"I sat down and visited with Todd Monken, our offensive coordinator, and he had all the other information from visiting with the offensive staff and we decided that after spring ball and watching all three quarterbacks battle for this position, that Wes is the best player to lead our football team."
Lunt, a true freshman early-enrollee to the Cowboys graduated early from Rochester HS in Rochester, Ill., where he led his team to two state championships. He missed the beginning of his senior year with an injury, but still threw for 3,650 yards and 31 touchdowns.
"He's tall, he's very mature, he's got good arm strength - not great arm strength yet, obviously he's still a high school player - but there's a lot of development there," added Gundy. "We like his maturity and we like where he's at in our offense, essentially still being a high school player. He has a good demeanor. He has a good knowledge of the game. He makes mistakes - Brandon Weeden made mistakes in his first year even though he was a more mature player - but some players have a calm demeanor and are able to execute better than others in critical situations and he showed signs of that. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but we feel like he has a very bright future."
He will be the first true freshman to start a game for OSU since Tone Jones in 1993. Other true freshman starters at quarterback include Mike Gundy and Gary Porter, but the OSU record book states no true freshman has started a season opener since at least 1950.
After learning of his starting position Lunt wasted no time being honest about the work he still must put in.
"I'm just going to work as hard as I possibly can and learn the offense better. I still have a ton of improvement that I need to make. Building relationships with the coaches and the players," said Lunt. "It all starts with how you work out in the summer. Come early, stay late. I'm not going to be a guy that will get in your face and scream, but always positive and always willing to help out."
"I don't know. God gave me an ability to throw the ball and I'm just so blessed to be in the situation that I am. I'm just overwhelmed."
"We've named our starting quarterback and Wes will start in the first game barring (unforeseen) circumstances," added Gundy. "It's his responsibility, with the help of the mature players on offense, to lead our team from this point forward."
The Cowboys open the 2012-13 season Sept. 1 vs. Savannah State.