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Spring Preview: One Big Question, Several Potential Answers at QB for Oklahoma State

Can the Cowboys replace the skill and experience of Spencer Sanders?

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Coming off the biggest #portalSZN to date, departures and newcomers at position groups all over the country will make a bigger impact than ever. But maybe none bigger than the quarterback position at Oklahoma State.

With spring practice kicking off Tuesday, let’s preview the Cowboys’ position groups starting at QB.

Who’s Gone

The Cowboys said goodbye to Spencer Sanders by way of transfer to Ole Miss. Sanders left OSU as a Top 3 producer in a slew of major quarterback stats and was a proven difference-maker over the last four years. His dynamic skill set — specifically his experience and ability to pick up first downs on the ground — is something the Cowboys missed without him down the stretch in 2022. And it’s something that will be tough to replace moving forward.

Who’s Returning

The only two returning Cowboy passers to attempt a pass last season are redshirt freshman Garret Rangel and redshirt sophomore Gunnar Gundy. The latter started off last year above the former in the QB pecking order, but it was Rangel who got the nod in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale against West Virginia and in the bowl game against Wisconsin.

Who’s Entering the Mix

The Cowboys gained potential answers for the present and the future this offseason in graduate transfer Alan Bowman and incoming freshman Zane Flores.OSU fans will recognize Bowman as the true frosh who came into Stillwater and lit up the Cowboys for an upset win back in 2018 on his way to a breakout rookie season. Unfortunately, injuries kept Bowman from living up to the hype in Lubbock. After two years in a reserve role at Michigan, Bowman is back in the Big 12 and there’s plenty of reason to think he could put up more big numbers in Stillwater.

Flores comes to Stillwater as a touted recruit with enviable measurables and four years worth of starting experience at the high school level. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound rookie is a talented pocket passer with a cannon. He may not ever look like Spencer Sanders on the run, but he’s athletic enough to extend plays if necessary.

Spring Depth Chart Prediction

Here’s a somewhat educated guess on how the QB pecking order will play out this fall.

QB1: Alan Bowman
QB2: Garret Rangel
QB3: Zane Flores
QB4: Gunnar Gundy

QB Outlook

We know Mike Gundy, like most coaches around the country, puts a premium on experience. With five years of experience and just one season to burn, QB1 should be Bowman’s job to lose. But spring is when the real competition starts. While the Cowboys face as big a question mark behind center as they have in five years, they have a handful of potential candidates that could provide the answer.

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