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Ranking The Quarterbacks on Oklahoma State’s Roster

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It’s great when you can head into a season knowing who QB1 is. It’s even better when he’s already established himself as one of the two best quarterbacks in the your conference. Or one of the 10 five best in the country and a potential first-round NFL draft pick.

That’s the situation Oklahoma State finds itself entering the 2017 season. It’s a luxury Coach Gundy and Co., and fans, haven’t enjoyed since 2011. That being said, there are still questions about the position — both for this year and moving forward. Who is the second best guy behind Mason Rudolph? And which QBs on campus have the best chance to take the reins next year and moving forward?

6. Tracin Wallace | Freshman

There is just so much potential with Wallace, but it’s still a questison until he fully recovers from his two ACL injuies. If he does, I think he could be great. Wallace is a tremendous athlete.

Honestly, I think there’s a good chance Wallace ends up at a different position. Maybe receiver. Maybe he fills the J.W. Walsh role from two years ago. Maybe he ends up on defense. Or maybe he’s the best quarterback on campus. The problem is, those two ACL tears are a big question mark and with them, I can’t justify ranking him any higher than this.

5. John Kolar | Redshirt-Sophomore

Do you realize John Kolar has been with the program since 2015? It feels like every season his name is mentioned as a potential backup, a potential dual-threat guy, or the next J.W. Walsh.

He was a four-star quarterback from Norman but has yet to jump walk-on Taylor Cornlieus in the pecking order. Now, true freshman Keondre Wudtee has slipped past him too. The battle to back up Rudolph this season is down to two players, and Kolar isn’t one of them. Maybe he takes a step forward next year, but the longer he goes without getting real reps with the ones — or with the twos for that matter — the worse his chances are looking.

4. Jelani Woods | Freshman

Let me start by saying this. I have no idea how good Jelani Woods is. Yes he’s been on campus since the spring, and it feels like he has the best chance of the bottom three to eventually push for the starting job, but in terms of this year and next, there are too many guys with talent and experience in front of him. Expect him to redshirt this year. There’s no reason for him to need to suit up unless OSU has a Daxx Garman type situation (knock on wood).

The true freshman put up 2,316 yards and 26 touchdowns through the air his senior yea in Georgia. The other big thing about him is, well him. He’s big. Like, 6-foot-7, 230-pounds big.  He has talent, but like most freshmen, needs time and work. He’ll be interesting to keep an eye on, but not for a couple of seasons.

3. Taylor Cornelius | Redshirt-Junior

Yes, Cornelius landing third means that Wudtee is second. That being said, I think Cornelius earns the backup job this season. He’s got far more experience with this team and this system than Wudtee  and despite being a walk-on has continued to impress coaches. He’s already seeing more reps than Wudtee in practice, which is a good sign that he’ll likely be named No. 2.

So, why is he ranked third? I think he gets jumped by Wudtee for the starting job next season. He was talked about all last season despite redshirting. Now, he’s pushing Cornelius for the backup gig.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Cornelius is the next Clint Chelf, (Choo Choo!) a guy just waiting to get his shot. Maybe he’s better than we all thought. Former Cowboy wide receiver David Glidden called Cornelius one of the most underrated players on the team.

“To be honest with you, I might have to say one of the most underrated and overlooked guys is a guy that’s here right now in Taylor Cornelius,” said Glidden.

I’m hoping OSU gets some blowouts early in the season so we can have an opportunity to see just what Cornelius can do. Maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised.

2. Keondre Wudtee | Redshirt-Freshman

As previously discussed, Wudtee is here because I believe he’s the starter next season over Cornelius.

Wudtee is already pushing Cornelius for the backup job, and I don’t think talent is the reason Wudtee won’t get it. Cornelius has had four years with the offensive playbook, that gives him the leg up this season. But next season? Wudtee will be entering his third year in Stillwater. If he’s learned the playbook, the talent and ability that has already impressed the coaching staff will likely jump him ahead of Cornelius.

Yurcich has talked about Wudtee’s abilities and his faults.

“He’s got a lot of ability to create when things break down,” Yurcich said. “He’s got a different skill set where he’s got really good escape-ability. He needs to continue to secure the football better. He’s got a good arm. His arm’s solid. His accuracy is okay but he throws on the run pretty well and he gives you a little bit different element to your offense when he’s in the game.”

Gundy isn’t fond of players who lose the ball, another good reason Cornelius will win the back-up role this year. But if Wudtee can fix his mistakes, he’ll be under center when OSU opens their 2018 season.

1. Mason Rudolph | Senior

What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said already. Rudolph isn’t just the best quarterback at OSU this year, he might be the best of Gundy’s time as head coach.

For that to become a certainty, he needs to do one thing this season — win a Big 12 title. Do that, and I move him ahead of Brandon Weeden.

Rudolph isn’t perfect, but no college quarterback is. But he has the talent to be the best in college football this year and to lead Oklahoma State to an historic season.

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