With a little over two months until the opening weekend of the college football season, coaching staffs across the country are preparing to make decisions that will shape the outcome of their seasons.
In Stillwater, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy and first-year offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson have a difficult decision to make as to who will lead their offense for the 2019 season.
OSU is coming off of a 7-6 season that saw some of the biggest highs of the Gundy era, as well as some of the most disappointing defeats of his 15-year tenure.
Not all, but some of the struggles the team had were due to the quarterback position. With Mason Rudolph in the NFL, Gundy was forced to choose a successor as the gunslinger of the Cowboy offense.
He went with redshirt senior Taylor Cornelius, who had been Rudolph’s main backup for most of his time in Stillwater, and while he had some bright spots throughout the season, his overall inconsistencies were what led OSU to drop games to 5-7 Kansas State and 5-7 Texas Tech.
With Cornelius graduating Gundy will now have to choose between the two players that he beat out for the job last season.
First off is the player who is widely considered the favorite in the battle for the starting role, Spencer Sanders. Sanders is a redshirt freshman who has yet to take a snap for the Cowboys.
Sanders was the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school and was especially known for his playmaking ability with his legs.
During his senior year at Ryan high school in Denton, TX, Sanders finished the season with 3,877 passing yards, 1,380 rushing yards and 70 total touchdowns which saw him earn a four-star rating.
His competitor for the role is redshirt senior Dru Brown. Brown transferred to OSU last season after being the starting quarterback at Hawaii for two seasons.
During his two year stint at Hawaii Brown led his team to a 10-16 record averaging 2,786.5 passing yards and 18.5 touchdowns a season while offering little threat as a runner.
One thing to note about the quarterback battle is that Gundy during his time as head coach as well as Gleeson’s time as the Princeton offensive coordinator, both men have used some version of a two-quarterback system to find success. With this in mind, it is not out of the realm of possibility that whoever becomes the backup still sees playing time throughout the season.
The Cowboys kick off the season at Oregon State on Aug. 30 and as of now, the job looks to be Sanders to lose, with his threat as a runner as well as having four years of eligibility left seems to give him the edge ahead of Brown.