in Football

What I think happened with Wes Lunt

First of all, how is nobody talking about this interview? There’s so much good stuff in here about the Gundy/Lunt relationship, what Lunt was trying to do, and why he left. Watch and/or read my thoughts below…

I honestly think it was always going to be Illinois for Lunt, blocked schools or not. I got an email from somebody in Rochester who knows him at some point in this process and this person said the whole deal was simple: he was homesick, that’s it.

In fact, I’m not sure he ever really even wanted to go to Oklahoma State to begin with.

One thing fans, especially fanatics, don’t realize is that most kids who play sports in college don’t usually actually (gasp) love that college.1

I know that’s difficult for some people to fathom (A&M fans are still reeling from that Johnny Football tweet about College Station the other night) but frankly, most athletes could give two craps about historica Gallagher-Iba Arena, orange power, and so on. I really believe that.

I also think it provides a different lens through which to view Lunt’s decision, and any other decision like this that OSU athletes make in the future.

The whole “I’m 18 and the starting QB for a top 20 team” thing took a toll on him. That’s an overwhelming thing (his words in the video) for a kid and, combined with the fact that halfway into his senior year of high school he’d probably thought about the words “Oklahoma” and “State” three times ever, I mean, that’s a thing…

And how about this:

When did you realize OSU wasn’t the right fit for you?

It kind of happened during the season when I didn’t go back in again and wanted to play it out through spring ball because I just loved it there, I didn’t want to leave. And after spring ball, talking with Coach Gundy, it was just the right thing to do for me.

So basically you would have stayed if you were going to be the starter…

Gottlieb mentioned this to me one day, not sure if it was on his radio show or where it was, but he said “you can’t give the reins to a dude his freshman year then take them away after that without there being problems.” I totally agree.

It sounds to me like he didn’t think Stillwater was as cool when you’re holding a clipboard instead of holding the rock for the Big 12 favorite.

Also, Lunt and Gundy? Not boys from what Lunt says at 1:45.

Then at 2:25 Lunt says Gundy un-blocked him from Vandy, Bama, Notre Dame etc.

WAIT, WHAT?!

How was this not a thing? And if you’re Gundy don’t you hold a press conference, bring in the ESPN cameras, fly Tom Rinaldi in on Boone’s jet and say “I AM RELEASING WES LUNT, I SCREWED UP!” Isn’t that the PR play here rather than an under-the-radar call to Lunt’s HS coach?!

I don’t understand Gundy sometimes.

This whole thing, in the end, seems to be much ado about nothing. Gundy turned it into a way bigger deal than a third string QB transferring to a Big 10 school should have been made into.

And Lunt, he’s bailing on the school that it seems like he never really wanted to go to but couldn’t help himself because Monken enticed him with a starting role (should be noted that Monken could probably convince me to be an OU fan if he tried hard enough, he’s a scary dude).

It seems like a matter of convenience more than anything else. He knew he was going to sit a year either way and even though all of us would have chosen to sit at OSU over sitting at a school that plays in a conference that frowns upon the forward pass, that was what he wanted. Illinois is where he grew up, his state, his stomping grounds.

And you know what, that’s fine. Go home, kid, go win a Rose Bowl against SC in a couple years. Enjoy college.

I just wish this whole thing didn’t make Gundy look so foolish.

  1. One thing that shocked me when I was on the OSU baseball team for the three months I played was how little everybody there cared about Stillwater, OSU, etc. Those were things that meant something to me and everybody else was just there because this was the best scholarship situation for them. No other reason at all. It legitimately stunned me. I know you have your outliers (Zac Robinson comes to mind for some reason) but they aren’t as prevalent as you might think.
  • OSU-Bill

    We may all underestimate how apathetic Gundy is about the press in particular and public relations in general. That may be a mistake on his part, but that’s where I think he is. I wouldn’t blink if I were told that Gundy has never opened his Twitter account, much less written any Tweets attributed to him. It’s some AAAD or grad assistant that drafts stuff for his review or transcribes things he says. He does this and press conferences because it’s a begrudging obligation of his job.

    • Cowboy-KS

      Who really gives a crap what Kyle, Gina, Ubben, Barry, or any other media hack thinks? Gundy has a program to run with a BOAT LOAD of great players to manage. Last thing he wants are for competing coaches to think they can poach is locker room.
      Lunt’s release request (read “request”) did not fully jive with his “I wanna go home” and it concerned Gundy. Easy enough to read it as teams (or Lunts daddy) had already been working on the exit plan before the release.

      Gundy has a program to run and any kid that commits to being “out”, is no longer “in”.

      Kyle, you are propagating the same assumptions a bunch of OState haters are saying “Lunt was 3rd string”. You simply do not know that, nor what Gundy planned on doing this season. Nice try… Sigh…

    • PJ

      U of I grad here, just came across this article about Lunt. We are terrible. How good can Lunt be, assuming he’s given the starting job as soon as he’s eligible? Good enough to carry a shitty team to hopefully 6 wins? Knowing the blackhole for college careers that is U of I football – I think this kid made a big mistake. If you’re thinking in terms of football, how do you not go to Louisville? Also, what style of QB is Lunt? I can’t remember the last time we had an accurate passer, probably back in 2001 in the Kurt Kittner days. I guess I’m glad Gundy didn’t blacklist Illinois, but then again there would be no reason for it, but it probably won’t matter, this Illini team is going to be God awful the next 2 seasons. Hopefully Lunt can at least create some fireworks.

      • PJ

        Oh and interesting article, much appreciated.

  • Nate

    Totally agree. If you think Gundy runs his twitter account, you’re stupid.

    The only thing that I think makes Gundy look foolish here is that he let the clear cut best quarterback on the roster leave.

    • Mike

      He’s the clear cut best quarterback but he he can’t win back the starting job? Our coaches must suck!!!

      • http://pistolsfiringblog.com Kyle Porter

        Alex Cate.

        • TeaTown Cowboy

          Corrected that error just like he did w/ Lunt. I think Monken convinced Gundy that he was the best choice, clearly he was not.

  • Evie Taylor

    Bob Stoops said it best. What Mike Gundy did was absolutely the right thing. He said maybe it will stop some of the coaches doing illegal contacting of players on another team to try to steal them away. Some coaches will do anything because its all about them and their team which again is all about them. When a player commits to a team and that team has invested big bucks in them, taught them their system and these football players that are all about themselves just up and quit once a team doesn’t have the time to replace them. WTH!!!! Who is raising these big babies that haven’t learned a thing except its all about them and screw everyonelse. These guys are going to make great citizens in our workforce one day. ????
    I wouldn’t let my 5th grader pull a self centered stunt like that. Fullfill your commitment and don’t play the next year, big baby. Thats the right thing to do Mr. You’re so Special. You can have all the talent in the world but if you don’t have the maturity and stamina, you can’t be the signal caller for the projected top offensive team in college football. A coach sometimes will not be able to make the decision as to who will start until right before the first game. One has to have the mental toughness to stay in there and compete. Additionally, one has to have the mental toughness to take disappointment and work harder at competing. Nobody is that special that they are handed a position that they haven’t earned.

  • Brian

    Baseball, though, is a little different than other sports. No fan involvement, especially those years, and the whole partial scholarship thing. Football and hoops are full rides everywhere. Plus, it’s quite a bit different student-athlete experience… media, notoriety, etc. Not saying those guys care anymore about OSU and Stillwater, but it would be easier to see than baseball. Baseball is all about scholarships and getting drafted, that’s it.. Especially under Frank. Probably a little more care about OSU now, just because Josh cares.

  • JeffB

    If it was the “absolutely right thing”, then his recission of the same decision must have been the “absolutely wrong thing”, eh?

    It’s just TOO WEIRD for Gundy to have changed his mind knowing that it wouldn’t matter, so it had to be SIMPLY a PR play. But then it’d be TOO WEIRD for it to be simply a PR play if you don’t seek the PR?!?!? WTF!?!?

    Man, Coach plays his hads in a strange, strange manner.

  • Tom

    I can’t believe you are still after Gundy on this one. My inside sources told me from day one “Lunt said he was homesick and that was the only legit reason he could give for wanting to leave” so Gundy said, alright leave on good terms but here is the deal…if you really are just homesick then stay close to home. So based on what Wes said and to keep him accountable for his statement he blocked all schools not close to home/ and added some for schedule and personal (C Mich/S miss). And as far as not starting my sources also told me Gundy had Chelf as the starter last year but TM was convinced Lunt could handle it (Walsh was always going to be #2 because of special
    package issues). When Lunt got hurt they had to with Walsh bc of pract time, and he performed so well they stuck with him. When Chelf finally got his chance he played and led like Gundy expected he would….Bowl game, TM leaves, Lunt doesn’t show he def should have the job during the spring, Chlef remains starter. Again tell me why Gundy, the guy who has had his finger print on every relavant OSU football season since 87, is crazy and such a bad guy?

    • TeaTown Cowboy

      Sounds about right to me, I’ve long said the decision to start Lunt probably rested w/ Monken. Wrong decision, it was corrected. Probably led to Lunt leaving but seems all is falling into place but good luck to Lunt at Illinois!

  • tomg

    Kyle,

    I think you may be in the forest (media) too far to see the trees (coaches and player). The media’s behavior is why parents sided with Gundy after the rant. I enjoy reading media articles for opinions, but fully understand the business side. Media coverage of recruiting and college sports is an ugly game and leaves many with a bad taste in their mouth. Those people identify with Gundy and he wants student athletes that don’t want to be part of that circus. That is why he doesn’t let freshman talk to the media even though that may be used against him or be the reason some choose another school.

    Gundy is a young version of Bill Snyder. He has a plan and that plan includes keeping the media at arms length in his program. He can get away with that in Stillwater, which is why I don’t think he will leave. He has the facilities and is honest with kids. That is all he needs. Now if Lunt had bad things to say about Gundy, as a man, then that would be an area for concern. IMO Lunt was never going to fit at any school off his list. If the environment/competition in Stillwater made him homesick then he isn’t a fit at Notre Dame or any “banned” school. Those places are built upon the carcasses of people like Gundy and Lunt. I feel worse for Johnny Deaton or Sorenson than I do Wes Lunt. He still is chasing his dreams after coming to Stillwater.

  • Evie Taylor

    I think it’s interesting baby Wes lost contact with coaches he previously was in touch with. I wonder when they were in touch with those coaches. Ummmm… I thought his intent (according to him) was to go closer to home. BTW, no head coach is going to keep a 19 year old informed of their day to day decisions. Sorry Wes, you have to work hard and earn your spot as head signal caller. Babies don’t get that job because they can’t handle it. It’s a good thing some of you Gundy bashers aren’t working with me because you sure don’t get life and commitments. Come back to the real world. Who really thinks you should be able to back out of your committment at will?? Come on, Really???? You haven’t held a job very long have you. And for sure you aren’t sucessful with that attitude. And for your information, Gundy interviewed after he finished the season. He didn’t in the middle of the year after practice started. Not the same. You guys are as big of a baby as Wes Lunt. Actually, I think you get it more than you let on, you have your own agenda to bash Gundy. Why don’t you get as interested in your own school as you are with OSU. I don’t blame you to be jealous, it’s HAPPENIN in Stillwater. Go POKES!!!!

    • Schultzy

      You are extremely dumb.

  • David
    • David

      what, no chicken dinner? I was the only (or at least first) person to pick Illinois as Lunt’s destination…

  • JimTraberThoughts

    Evie, valid points and all but I disagree that these 18 year old kids are expected to act like grown ass men with jobs. Should they? Absolutely. But just one look at that a$$hat in college station is enough to tell you that these guys get a free pass to act like a 14 year old in a christie’s toy box.

  • matt

    With the kid being HOME SICK I have a problem listening to the media whining about all the choice’s that he didn’t have. Remeber that he was able to go to a school that was closer to home and I hope he has a wonderful career but its important to understand that when you have people counting on you and you dont let them know that you want to leave it puts the school in a bad spot. Some people will come back with the arguement about coaches leaving but thats an apples to oranges comparison because you can fire a coach after a bad season but you cant run a kid off if he dosen’t play well. Bottom line if you want to be critical of coach gundy focus on the nonconference schedule, lunt still got a chance to play close to home which is something he wanted to do.

  • Camp

    I know this may be true of some players (not being in love with the university) but as member of the staff at camp cowboy, we have 5 or 6 guys from the basketball or football team out every weekend. They LOVE osu. I wish every alumni could hear TMoore talk about osu. The basketball team is definitely fond of the university too. Some athletes might not care for stillwater or osu, but i can say with a lot of certainty that Lebryan, and markel, and tracey, and gilbert and more love the university, and i bet that goes for a decent majority of athletes. its also easy to not like osu if you’re on a bad team or an underfunded team, like baseball was. But mostly, they do give a crap about a lot of it. Wes just didn’t, and thats okay.

  • Evie Taylor

    It is okay that Wes Lunt is not at OSU. It appears that’s not where he was suppose to be and he surely didn’t have the maturity to be the #1 quarterback for OSU. He was not ready for that job in his maturity or mental toughness. We saw it last year and we saw it in his decision to leave in the middle of the year. He was not a team player but to say others aren’t as well, I don’t believe that. I’m sure there are some OSU players that are all about them but I don’t believe that for the majority of the team. I talk to one of the players on a fairly regular basis and I am so proud of him. He has taken the challenge, competed and matured in an unbelievable way. He gets We and not ME. I know that first hand. We have some awesome football players on the OSU team that love OSU and Mike Gundy. It’s unbelievable to me that some OSU fans have bashed Mike Gundy like they have through this situation. Talk about having blinders on. It doesn’t make sense if you are an OSU fan to support a kid that doesn’t want to grow up because he is such a special talent and blame you own coach because he is not treating this kid special. Don’t you get that you are causing division in your team by bashing the coach???? How much do you love OSU??? Mike Gundy has done more for this football program than any coach ever.

  • OSUaggie

    I really can’t believe anyone is surprised that Gundy low-keyed this release on restrictions; it’s classic Gundy. He cares about the kids, is not at all like a lot of Division I coaches that never make any decision or announcement without considering the Press/PR impact, and he really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the press thinks. The infamous “I’m a man” rant was Gundy trying to protect a player, not to become a UTube sensation. I don’t know for certain, but he probably reconsidered after a some time and decided he was too over the top; I really, really don’t think he offered the release because of anything said about him. As for an 18-19 year old kid getting homesick, I remember how that felt at that age and I remember it sucked. It’s pretty evident Lunt doesn’t hold a big ole grudge against Gundy over how this played out, so I think we should just get on down the road on this one and start focusing on how bad we could really beat OU this year….

    • Evie Taylor

      Good point. I have beat it to death. Can’t wait for this football season. Go Poke!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/natethiry @natethiry

    If Wes Lunt transfers to Alabama, faces the Cowboys in 2 years as a Heisman finalist, and drums the Pokes, then we’re all calling Gundy an idiot for not blocking Alabama. I think he did the best thing for his team’s future success in blocking Wes Lunt’s transfer to potential opponents and keeping him accountable to saying he wanted to be closer to home. This is a kid, making childish decisions. Most people in his position would say whatever they want to get whatever they want. Gundy is just making him do what he said he was going to do. If Wes was being honest with Gundy, none of this would be an issue. If Wes was lying about being homesick, then I bet it would be a really frustrating situation.

  • Cowboy-KS

    Kyle – You’re taking a beating here. Got rebuttal?

    • http://pistolsfiringblog.com Kyle Porter

      No.

  • Evie Taylor

    Evie, Cray??? Whatever, Kyle. I am just a 66 year old woman that loves the Cowboys and I go to every home game in Stillwater. I am proud of the OSU team and of Mike Gundy for all their accomplishments. I think he deserves respect and I don’t blame him for not talking to the sports writers. Mike Gundy has earned recognition among his peers as one of the top college coaches in the country. I think he is #12 which is pretty good for a young head coach. As an OSU fan, I am so disappointed with the Gundy bashing and I don’t believe Gundy looks foolish at all. So there ya have it, that’s my agenda. Cray???? I don’t even know what that means.