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Mike Gundy Signals Shift in QB Philosophy That May Affect Recruiting

What it means for the future and for the here and now at OSU.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Oklahoma State and Mike Gundy won their first — and only — Big 12 championship in 2011 with a statue (with all due respect to the GOAT, Brandon Weeden) at quarterback. But in this era of football, not having someone who can move around may be a thing of the past.

Gundy this week in his media availability discussed incoming transfer Alan Bowman and the QB position generally, and seemed to signal a shift in his philosophy about quarterbacks, their abilities and what OSU is looking for and will need in the future to find success within its system.

“I think the future [of the QB position] is that you’ve got to be able to move around,” said Gundy when responding to a question from Berry Tramel about whether OSU would turn to Bowman — more of a pocket passer than, say, Spencer Sanders — despite relying primarily on a mobile quarterback the last half-decade. “I don’t think Bowman is a runner, but I think he did move around well enough, and the style of play he was in at Tech, those guys have to avoid a lot.

“I don’t know that the pure pocket passer is as relevant now as they used to be. You have to be able to move around and avoid the rush and make a play.”

Gundy didn’t so much say that he will recruit — either out of high school or the transfer portal — exclusively mobile quarterbacks. And this doesn’t appear to be a let’s find the next Lamar Jackson type shift where only dual-threat quarterbacks will get looks. But gone are the days, it seems, when OSU will turn to pro-style passers only. To find success at OSU, and within college football, Gundy argues, the ability to move — even if it’s just within the pocket and being a little slippery — is a critical skill.

“You know how like Brock Purdy operated, right?” Gundy went on to say. “You couldn’t really get your hands on him to get him down. He moved around and made a play. He wasn’t going to take off and run for 60 [yards]. But you couldn’t really grab him and get him down. I think that’s really what we’re looking for now. If a guy can take off and run and score, that’s great, but he’s got to be able to throw accurately and make good decisions.”

What this means for the future of the position may be fascinating as OSU feels out the shifts within the sport, but what it means for the here and now is equally as interesting. OSU has four quarterbacks on the roster who could realistically take snaps as QB1 next season — Bowman, Garret Rangel, Gunnar Gundy and Zane Flores — and none of them quite fit the mold of a runner the way Spencer Sanders was. All of them, though, seem to fit Gundy’s description of being able to be agile enough to move the pocket and be slippery.

Here’s 247Sports‘ eval of incoming freshman Flores, in part: “Does show mobility and ability to escape the rush and can run some when needed.”

Bowman and Rangel also showed mobility in their work — Bowman most recently at Texas Tech and Rangel most recently last season at OSU — but good luck extrapolating these comments beyond a general philosophy and onto what it means for next season. With the personnel in house, it’s clear OSU will not be trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

“To take a pocket passer and make him run around like Lamar Jackson,” said Gundy, “that’s not going to happen.”

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