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PFB Staff Ranks the Top 5 Quarterbacks in Oklahoma State History

Did we get it right?



Jackson Lavarnway/PFB

Quarterback is the most talk-about position in all of American sports, and Oklahoma State has had some darn good ones over the years.

Adding to our lists of the Top 5 running backs and the Top 5 wide receivers in OSU’s history, it’s time to look at quarterbacks.

1. Brandon Weeden

The undisputed GOAT of OSU quarterbacks past and present. I will hear no argument to the contrary (Sorry, Marsh). Weeden led OSU to its only Big 12 title in program history and traversed a treacherous schedule to give us the most magical season in program history in 2011. He was iconic. The Weeden2Blackmon era was so special and so memorable for so many, myself included, that it’s difficult to see anyone having the top end success and giving us the volume of memories he did while in Stillwater. Oh, and the Fiesta Bowl? Winning a shootout vs. Andrew Luck? That’s GOAT things only, folks. — Boone

2. Mason Rudolph

The all-time leading passer in Oklahoma State’s history, Mason Rudolph threw for 13,618 yards and 92 touchdowns while at Oklahoma State. Here is a list of things Rudolph ranks tops in program history in:

Passing yards — 13,618
Passing touchdowns — 92
Pass attempts — 1,447
Completions — 915
Pass efficiency (minimum 200 attempts) — 159.7
Average yards per pass attempt (minimum 200 attempts) — 9.4
Passing yards per game (minimum 20 games) — 324.2
Consecutive passes without an interception — 216
Touchdowns responsible for — 109
Total offense yards — 13,646
Total offense per game — 324.9
Total offense per play (minimum 400 plays) — 8.16

That’s a lot of things to be No. 1 in to be No. 2 on this list.

3. Zac Robinson

Zac Robinson helped put Oklahoma State on the map with his career spanning from 2006 to 2009.

His 8,317 passing yards rank fifth in program history, and his 66 passing touchdowns rank fourth in program history. Also a threat to run, Robinson’s 1,858 career rushing yards rank third among quarterbacks in OSU history.

Robinson’s best year came as a junior in 2008 when he threw for 3,064 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for another 562 yards and eight scores. Robinson led the Cowboys to a 9-3 record that year, including a historic road win over No. 3 Missouri, where Robinson threw for 215 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for another score.

4. Spencer Sanders

Spencer Sanders’ legacy might still need some time to simmer before we know exactly where he fits into OSU lore.

One thing is for certain, Sanders has the stats and accolades to rank among OSU’s elite quarterbacks. He ranks second in OSU history with 9,553 passings yards and third with 67 passing touchdowns. He was also the most dynamic runner the Cowboys have ever had at the quarterback position, running for another 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns.

He also led the Cowboys through a handful of big moments, winning a Fiesta Bowl, winning a Bedlam game and being oh so close to a Big 12 title.

5. Mike Gundy

People weren’t throwing the rock around back in the 80s, but Mike Gundy was.

Despite his playing career ending more than 30 years ago, Gundy still ranks fourth in program history with 8,473 passing yards and fifth with 57 passing touchdowns.

He also ranks in the Top 10 in career completions, attempts, completion percentage, pass efficiency and passing yards per game.

Honorable Mentions

Josh Fields: It feels criminal to have Fields outside the top five QBs in program history given how impactful he was in shaping the next generation of OSU football. Alas, it doesn’t take away from what Fields accomplished as a Cowboy, though, and his name remains all over the record books even to this day. He still holds the record for the most touchdowns responsible for in a single game and stands top seven in total passing yards, total passing touchdowns, total offensive yards generated and total touchdowns responsible for in a single season. [Takes deep breathe.] That’s … incredible. He was also the architect of the incredible 16-13 Bedlam win in 2001 that we always remember fondly, as he connected with Rashaun Woods late for the go-ahead score, and his legend as a giant slayer in the Bedlam series remains to this day. Fields should arguably go down as one of the most talented athletes to ever play at OSU. — Boone

Clint Chelf: A man with get-away-from-the-cops speed, Chelf ranks eighth in program history with 4,277 passing yards and seventh with 37 passing touchdowns. Chelf was margins away from leading the Cowboys to two Bedlam wins, the type of margins that are enough for OSU fans to rip their hair out. Still, Chelf provided some all-time moments, like when he threw for 370 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 49-17 drumming of No. 3 Baylor in 2013.

J.W. Walsh: Just in terms of raw ability as a quarterback, I definitely understand why Walsh didn’t make the cut here. But, like, there’s just no way you can argue he hasn’t been one of the five most important QBs of this generation of OSU athletics. He was a dual-threat machine who played a central role in some of those great teams of the 2010s, serving as both a QB, rusher, and later as a mentor (and now as a coach). His leadership and willingness to lay it on the field was huge in shaping the culture. Loves-his-family type player that Mike Gundy raves about. He has the makings of a future head coach and the passion to generate buy-in and belief among a fanbase. — Boone

Also considered: Tone’ Jones, Tony Lindsay

What Ifs

What if Wes Lunt never gets injured: This was a wild time in OSU history and in pop culture. Lunt was a four-star recruit with a big pedigree and even bigger expectations whose career at OSU never panned out. He only played in six games and had a knee injury that ultimately derailed his time in Stillwater. I recall at the time, in 2012, it was a popular time for random twitter accounts, and I vividly remember following a Wes Lunt’s knee spoof account thinking it was the funniest thing ever. That ultimately ushered in the J.W. Walsh/Clint Chelf/Daxx Garman (!) era before Rudolph’s arrival, so you could argue things worked out in the end, but Lunt felt like the perfect heir apparent to Weeden and things never materialized unfortunately. — Boone

What if Taylor Cornelius had more than one season as a starter: Taylor Cornelius was a polarizing pick among the fanbase in 2018. Some were fine with the former walk-on who spent four seasons behind Mason Rudolph to get his time in the sun while others wanted to get a jump start on the Spencer Sanders era. Well, in his lone season as a starter, Cornelius threw for 3,978 yards, fifth-most in a season in program history behind seasons from Rudolph and Weeden. He was also a 2-point conversion away from beating Heisman Trophy-winner Kyler Murray in Norman. Despite starting only one season, Cornelius ranks ninth in program history in career passing yards.

Individual Polls

RankMarshall ScottKyle BooneKyle Cox
1Mason Rudolph1Brandon Weeden1Brandon Weeden
2Brandon Weeden2Mason Rudolph2Mason Rudolph
3Zac Robinson3Spencer Sanders3Zac Robinson
4Spencer Sanders4Zac Robinson4Spencer Sanders
5Mike Gundy5Mike Gundy5Mike Gundy
6Josh Fields6Josh Fields6Clint Chelf
7Tone’ Jones7J.W. Walsh7Josh Fields

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