STILLWATER, Okla. — Senior Clint Chelf, redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and freshman Wes Lunt have completed their audition to become Oklahoma State's next starting quarterback.
Now, the waiting begins.
All three candidates threw two touchdowns apiece in the Cowboys' spring game on Saturday, their final chance to influence coach Mike Gundy's decision on who will replace record-setting quarterback Brandon Weeden. Chelf also ran for a score on a 2-yard draw but was the only one to commit a turnover, fumbling in the red zone in the first quarter.
Gundy said he'll announce the starter after meeting with his offensive staff Wednesday to review the spring.
"If we're on the same page, we won't have any further discussions. We'll move along," Gundy said. "If they feel differently than I do, then I want them to give me the reasons why and then we'll make a decision and move forward."
Walsh threw for 310 yards on 16-for-27 passing, Lunt went 15-for-23 for 215 yards and Chelf had 212 yards while completing 18 of 31 passes.
Charlie Moore was the surprising star, catching nine passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns — a 39-yarder from Chelf and 58- and 59-yard scoring passes from Lunt.
During a span of five plays in the second half, Chelf threw a 21-yard score to Tracy Moore, Walsh followed with a 70-yard touchdown pass over the defense to Kevin Johnson and Lunt hit Moore for his 59-yard TD on a deep ball down the right side.
"I thought that each quarterback at times showed signs of being good enough to start next year and then I saw times where there were some deficiencies with each one of them," Gundy said.
Chelf had the only turnover, fumbling after he had started to throw and then tried to pull the ball down.
Walsh didn't get going until late, throwing for touchdowns on his final two drives. Before then, he put the Cowboys in position for a 25-yard field goal by Quinn Sharp and then had a pair of three-and-outs among four drives that ended in punts.
Lunt struggled to move the ball when he wasn't throwing deep to Charlie Moore, getting just one first down on his other five drives combined.
"I'll be anxious to hear what they have to say and who they pick, but it's nice to be done with spring and know that we got a lot better as a football team," said Chelf, who was Weeden's backup last season but only played when games were out of hand late.
"I'll be fine with whatever," he added. "I really want to be the starter and I think I did a pretty good job this spring. Whatever happens, happens. We're all friends. J.W. had a great spring, Wes had a great spring. We'll just have to see what happens."
Walsh redshirted last season after being signed as a decorated recruit out of Denton, Texas, who played in the U.S. Army All-American game. Lunt, who won two state championships in Illinois, enrolled in January to have a shot at winning the starting job.
"I'm definitely anxious for it. I'm ready to hear who it is," Walsh said. "But it doesn't matter who it is right now because the battle's not (over). It's not set in stone whoever they name. There's still a summer and then there's still a fall practice and then there's also still a fall season."
Whoever emerges will have big shoes to fill. Weeden broke every meaningful Oklahoma State passing record while leading the program to its first Big 12 championship, first BCS bowl game (a win over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl) and the No. 3 ranking in The Associated Press' final poll.
All three split practice time evenly throughout the spring and took turns Saturday rotating into the lineup — alternating between playing with the starters and reserves. Gundy said the starter will probably get 75 percent of the repetitions at practice in preseason camp.
"If it was that obvious, we'd already have made the decision. So, it's not going to be that simple," offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. "If it was that obvious, we wouldn't have split all the reps. That's the way it is. Whoever it is is going to function well and we'll score points and win games."1 comment on this story
Monken said Chelf, the veteran, was steady all spring while Lunt, the youngster, made constant improvement. He thought Walsh started strong, hit a lull in the middle portion of practice, and then finished strong — perhaps giving his best performance on Saturday.
"There's always an eyeball test to everything right? You look at everything," Monken said. "You just have to be careful of rushing to judgment without watching the tape, you know?
"There's a lot of beautiful girls out there with terrible personalities."