Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

April 5, 2014

Quarterback shuffle becoming clearer

STILLWATER — The quarterback intrigue at Oklahoma State reached a fever pitch Saturday — before the Cowboys even started the Orange Blitz at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Social media was abuzz with word that Daxx Garman, a transfer from Arizona who has been a part of a three-man rotation at quarterback this spring, sustained a possible severe injury during Friday’s practice.

While Mike Gundy and OSU were noncommittal on the extent of his injury, it was bad enough that the 6-foot-2, 205-pound gunslinger from Southlake, Texas, was a no-show at Saturday’s open practice.

“Daxx Garman got banged up yesterday so he didn’t get to practice today,” Gundy said following the Orange Blitz. “We don’t know (what it is). He turned his knee, so we weren’t going to let him practice today. We’ll know more on Monday.

“Could be bad? We really don’t know. I hate to ever say one way or another. I’m not very good at that.”

With Garman not in attendance, the quarterback situation got a bit of a shakedown with incumbent J.W. Walsh and freshman Mason Rudolph splitting time with the first and second team offense — with Walsh appearing to get more of the snaps with the first-teamers.

Gundy continued to reiterate that Walsh was getting most of the work with the ones because of his experience within the program the past three years — the first being as a redshirt.

“J.W. is coming along and we have seen him for a number of years,” Gundy said. “... We’ll finish up next week and then make a decision on exactly what we want to do.”

Perhaps helping Walsh this spring is a new approach in the pocket, according to senior offensive lineman Daniel Koenig.

“He’s staying in the pocket more, which is good,” Koenig said. “Maybe a year or two years ago he’d get nervous back there and just start scrambling. Now he’s sitting in there and throwing it. It’s great. I think he feels more comfortable back there.”

Several of those times he stayed in the pocket proved to be beneficial for the OSU offense. The biggest plays of the Orange Blitz came via the passing game — except for one designed quarterback run by Walsh that went for a 40-yard touchdown.

“J.W. has been throwing the ball great. Anytime he gets a chance to throw it deep, I love going deep. We connected a couple times and it was a great day,” said receiver Blake Webb, who caught at least two deep balls for a touchdowns during the live-action drills.

While things looked a little rougher for Rudolph — who was a big draw for the fans seeking autographs following the practice — Gundy said it’s not necessarily indicative of what skills the freshman from Rock Hill, S.C., possesses.

“I mentioned with Rudolph, he would be a little further behind than what (Wes) Lunt would be because Lunt was practicing behind mature players (on the offensive line),” Gundy said. “We like (Rudolph) as a player and we’re glad he’s in this program, but he hasn’t been able to do much.

“You saw today when he was in there he gets pressured so much that he can’t really function right now. That’s nobody’s fault other than just youth and inexperience up front.”

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