ARLINGTON, Texas — Imagine a world where Mike Gundy was embedded in Oklahoma football lore as one of its quarterback greats.
It nearly happened.
At the opening of Big 12 media days in Arlington, Texas, Gundy recalled committing to Oklahoma and Barry Switzer as a blue-chip QB out of Midwest City.
Switzer, who won 157 games and three national titles at OU, was as iconic then as he is now. Was he difficult to say no to?
“Mm, hmm,” Gundy said. “I said yes. I committed to him, then decommitted a week later, maybe 10 days. They probably wrote one article on that back then. We didn’t have all the coverage like we do now. The hardest part was calling him and telling him I wasn’t gonna come there, just based on him being everybody’s hero.”
Gundy, who graduated from Midwest City in 1986, wound up going to rival Oklahoma State where he broke passing records and eventually became head coach. His brother, Cale, starred at OU from 1990-93 under Gary Gibbs and is entering his 21st season as an assistant coach with the program.
Mike Gundy and Switzer don’t see much of each other these days.
“I’ve probably seen him once, twice in 20 years at some function or whatever,” Gundy said. “I know he’s really involved in a lot of charities and things like that, but I don’t ever see him.”
• No change: Gundy unofficially won the award for the best joke when he referred to OU’s quarterback situation recently.
“The last couple of years they've had average quarterback play and they've overcome it,” Gundy said, in reference to the Sooners’ grip on the Big 12. “So they've been very successful and somebody's got to take it from them.”
The Sooners are deep at the position again, but coach Lincoln Riley didn’t drop a news bomb with a decision on a starting quarterback.
Far from it, in fact. Alabama graduate-transfer Jalen Hurts hasn’t come any closer to securing a starting role as much expect.
“He’s gotta win the job first,” Riley said. “If he wins the job then we’ll talk about that.”
Riley admitted it would have made sense to bring Hurts to Big 12 media days from a leadership standpoint.
“I just felt like, for one, Jalen is in a quarterback battle,” Riley said. “He’s done a phenomenal job becomin a leader on this team in as short amont of time. I respect what he’s done in his career. But I just felt like guys who’ve played for us and been with us for a little while, it was more appropriate.”
Per NCAA rules, Riley is allowed spend one hour a week meeting with quarterbacks Hurts, Tanner Mordecai, Spencer Rattler and Tanner Schafer.
“I think they are all doing well,” Riley said. “The competition will be raised certainly in August. You have a month there which gives you two-to-three weeks realistically to work through it and have a guy named and move forward from there.”
• Health update: Other matters remained status quo, such as Jalen Redmond’s health. The redshirt freshman defensive end is progressing OK but still not cleared for contact.
Redshirt sophomore center Creed Humphrey said he remains on track for fall camp after missing the spring with an injury.
• Brooks’ status: Riley didn’t have much to add to the status of running back Kennedy Brooks, who was recently reinstated after being cleared of allegations of violence against a female student in a Title IX hearing.
Riley said he tried to stay detached from the proceedings.
“Kennedy was reinstated back to the team late last week. He's back full-go with our guys,” Riley said. “During the process I was not involved at all. Not updated at all. That's a process that our school takes very seriously and we leave that to the people that their job is to handle that and when they do we take it from there.”