Pictures were snapped and memorabilia was signed as the Oklahoma State Football held its annual Fan Appreciation Day in Stillwater on Aug. 3. This is a chance for fans from all over to come to Stillwater for a chance to interact with the team and coaching staff before the season starts.
Fans lined the hallways of Gallagher-Iba Arena as they waited their turn to meet their favorite players, but one thing remains on everyone’s mind as the start of the season draws near – Who will be named the starting quarterback?
It’s a question that has loomed over the heads of Cowboy fans since the conclusion of last season where Taylor Cornelius finished his quarterback career leading the Cowboys to a 38-33 win over Missouri in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 throwing for 336 yards and connecting for four touchdowns.
“When he was throwing the ball, he always had a reason,” Quarterback Spencer Sanders said when asked about Cornelius. “He was so smart, and he knew exactly what to do. I looked up to him. He did a great job, and he was never clueless.”
Sanders, a Redshirt Freshman, currently shares the quarterback title with Redshirt Senior Dru Brown, and Head Coach Mike Gundy spoke highly of both athletes saying the decision to name a starter has not been announced and won’t be until the time is right.
“I don’t wait any longer than I have to because I don’t want to mess with it,” Gundy said. “I think it helps the team to know who their quarterback is. It certainly helps us as coaches. We’re through the first padded practice, and as of now, we play two.”
Gundy went on to say the two quarterbacks share multiple similarities in their toughness and talent, and with time before the first kickoff, things could change at any moment.
“I will say this,” Gundy said. “They’re both quality men. They’re competing, and they’re being supportive. The team is helping them. When you talk about quarterbacks, you’re essentially affecting everyone on the team, and I’m not saying we are going to play two, but I am saying that as of today, that’s what would happen.”
Brown, who transferred from the University of Hawaii after completing a 12-start season as one of four team captains in 2017, saw only one snap of playing time last season in the Liberty Bowl backing up Cornelius after Taylor had to take to the bench for one play from losing his helmet during a tackle.
While at UH, Brown completed his junior and final year in Hawaii with 2,785 passing yards and 18 touchdowns averaging 232.1 yards per game.
“Senior year or freshman year, anytime I’m competing, I want to be the guy,” Brown said. “I would hope Spencer [Sanders] would say the same thing. I’m a competitor, and I want to play, but at the same time I respect who I’m competing with, and I respect the coaches that we have here. I trust them to make the right decision.”
Teammates of Brown and Sanders sang nothing but praises for the two athletes as the rest of the team awaits the announcement of who will step into the role of starting quarterback, and Junior Wide Receiver Dillon Stoner called both Brown and Sanders leaders in their own ways.
“It’s obviously a rivalry, but they’re both very mature in how they’re handling it,” Stoner said. “They’re great friends, and it’s been fun seeing them go out and compete these past few days.”
2018 First-Team All-American Tylan Wallace chimed in on the quarterback debate calling both Brown and Sanders competitors and exciting to watch.
“I couldn’t even tell you, honestly,” Wallace said when asked if he could pick a starting quarterback. “It’s been back and forth every day and has been a real battle between both of them, so you just never know until we find out here soon.”
The quarterback announcement remains up in the air as the Cowboys continue on with camp taking one step at a time preparing for the season ahead.
The Cowboys’ first game of the 2019 season will take place in Corvallis, Oregon, against the Oregon State Beavers on Aug. 30.
2019 Oklahoma State Football Schedule:
- Oklahoma State (AT) Oregon State – Aug. 30 Corvallis, OR
- Oklahoma State (VS) McNeese – Sept. 7 Stillwater, OK
- Oklahoma State (AT) Tulsa – Sept. 14 Tulsa, OK
- Oklahoma State (AT) Texas – Sept. 21 Austin, TX
- Oklahoma State (VS) Kansas State – Sept. 28 Stillwater, OK
- Oklahoma State (AT) Texas Tech – Oct. 5 Lubbock, TX
- Oklahoma State (VS) Baylor – Oct. 19 Stillwater, OK
- Oklahoma State (AT) Iowa State – Oct. 26 Ames, IA
- Oklahoma State (VS) TCU – Nov. 2 Stillwater, OK
- Oklahoma State (VS) Kansas – Nov. 16 Stillwater, OK
- Oklahoma State (AT) West Virginia – Nov. 23 Morgantown, WV
- Oklahoma State (VS) Oklahoma – Nov. 30 Stillwater, OK
VIDEO: 2019 Oklahoma State Football Fan Appreciation Day