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Friend and Roommate Cole Walterscheid Says Taylor Cornelius Is ‘In the Zone’



Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius and its starting defensive end Cole Walterscheid have taken similar paths to Stillwater.

No, I don’t mean Cornelius’ five-hour drive east on I-40 from Bushland, Texas as compared to Waltersheid’s roughly three-and-a-half hour trek north on I-35 from Muenster. It’s that both arrived on campus for a redshirt year in 2014, and both were far from ready to contribute.

Cornelius, a walk-on at a gaunt 6 foot 6 and 180 pounds, was fresh off of a successful prep career in small Texas Class 2A ball — which included slinging the rock for over 9,000 yards and nearly 90 touchdowns.

Walterscheid parlayed his lanky 6-5, 205-pound frame into both catching passes for nearly 1,000 yards as well as his current business of sacking quarterbacks for Muenster High.

Both have transformed body and mind while in Stillwater. The former in a more dramatic fashion for Walterscheid, who quickly became #BodybyGlass fodder online as he packed on over 50 pounds. The latter in a way only reaching your fifth year in a Division I program can.

Their connection was more about a kindred spirit than geography. The two have been roommates for three-plus years which affords Walterscheid a unique perspective on the next quarterback set to lead OSU’s offense.

“Taylor the roommate is a goofy dude,” Walterscheid said. “He’s a funny guy. There’s no telling what’s going to come out of his mouth. No, he’s a good guy though. He’s a good guy to live with. He’s a clean guy, one of my best friends.”

Mike Gundy hasn’t bunked up with Cornelius but he has had plenty of time to get to know him over the last four years as a player — though mostly in practice — and he’s deemed him a worthy successor to all-time leading passer and winner Mason Rudolph.

“Yeah, he’s intelligent, he gets it,” Gundy said of Cornelius, “but when you’re here as long as he is, you’re almost just gonna figure it out after a couple of years.”

Gundy also stated that the redshirt senior knows the offense “as good as anyone that’s ever been here.” That is definitely something.

As Rudolph’s backup these last two years Cornelius always had to be ready. In-game action can present itself in the turn of an ankle. While he says his roommate always took that role seriously, according to Walterscheid, Cornelius’s intensity and preparedness has ramped up even more over the spring and summer leading into fall camp.

“He’s getting more, extra film in all the time,” Walterscheid said. “I constantly see him in the living room going over his play sheet before practice. Yeah, he’s in the zone.”

Off the field, Cornelius is not the big character that some starting QBs are, or even the one Rudolph turned into. He’s prone to playing it a bit coy, if not downright modest.

“Could have been better,” Cornelius said of his scrimmage performance. “Threw an interception in the first one and threw another one yesterday so, it’s not good. But I just move on from it and learn from it.”

On the field, he’s shown flashes like the 40-yard scamper-and-score against Baylor and a pair of deep-ball connections to Tylan Wallace and receiver-turned-corner Tyrell Alexander a year ago.

Regardless of his persona in front of a camera or away from the game, how he performs on Saturdays (and next Thursday) will shape his career and his ultimate legacy at OSU. And with an arsenal of weapons around him and an improving offensive line in front of him, Cornelius will have every chance to succeed.

“Man, I’m so fired up,” Walterscheid said. “He’s been waiting his turn forever, obviously being behind Mason and backing up. Coming in as a walk-on on a long time ago and finally getting to the point where he’s at. Man, I’m fired up for him. I think he’s going to do great.”





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