Surreal and exciting. Those were the first couple of words out of Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden's mouth when he was asked about his position in the Heisman Trophy race.
"It's kind of surreal," said Weeden in a teleconference Tuesday. "I am excited to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson and those guys that are mentioned in it, those are two of the best players in the country along with Case (Keenum) and Kellen Moore. Just to be mentioned with those guys is extremely exciting and something I don't take for granted."
Weeden currently leads all BCS automatic-qualifying conference quarterbacks in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He also ranks in the top eight nationally in those two categories as well as in pass efficiency, total offense and points responsible for.
On the season he has completed 313-of-428 passes for 3635 yards and 31 touchdowns. In the last two games alone the senior has completed 64-of-83 passes for 925 yards and nine touchdowns.
Last game against Texas Tech, Weeden surpassed Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy on the school's career passing list and now he sits just 149 yards behind Zac Robinson for the most in school history.
That game Weeden completed 31-of-37 passes for 423 yards and five touchdowns—a performance that solidified his name in the talk for this year's Heisman trophy.
When asked if he was aware of how close he was to being the new leader Weeden responded, "I really haven't thought about "I honestly didn't know about it until you said that but it's obviously cool. It's something I will take pride in down the road after I am done playing here."
Weeden recognizes that his strength of throwing the football along with the coverage this team provides has helped him to his passing marks thus far.
"My strength is throwing the football and Zac was one of those guys that could throw it and also run around and make plays with his feet," said Weeden. "I think just the availability to sit back and spread the ball around with my arm instead of my feet contributes to that too."
In talking about the team's success this season, the 28-year old quarterback was also quick to mention a teammate he says is a crucial key to their success—someone he calls the team's anchor, Grant Garner.
"It's unbelievable what he does. He sets the tone and gets everything dialed in before every play. He's definitely the anchor of what we do before the play even starts," said Weeden." I think it all starts with Grant--he is one of those guys that is an irreplaceable guy, he is the core of what we do offensively."
It's that leadership, comfort and team work that has the Cowboys at 10-0 on the season, 7-0 in conference play and the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings.
"I've been on a lot of teams with a lot less guys and I've never been on a team that has this type of chemistry," said Weeden. "There's no one in the locker room that dislikes anyone else, we get along. The difference is that we don't have any guys that are "I" guys—they're not worries about how many catches, how many tackles or how many plays they play. They're just not worried about it—it's at the back of their mind. They want to do what they can to help the team win."
"I've never seen a group a guys that are this close and care about each other as much as they do and I think that goes a long way when you talk about winning games," added Weeden.
Oklahoma State returns to the practice field Tuesday in preparation for Friday's matchup at Iowa State. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.
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