Oklahoma State comes into the 2018 College Football season with a lot of question marks. The biggest of those questions has to be Mason Rudolph’s replacement after his departure to the NFL after last season. Mike Gundy has put that question to rest with the announcement that Taylor Cornelius will lead the team on the field against Missouri State come August 30th. Now, the question is, will he be able to hold onto the job?
Can Taylor Cornelius Keep His Starting Position?
Believe it or not, Cornelius is moving into his senior year at Oklahoma State. He started his career as a walk-on back in 2015 and has since earned a scholarship. His game history won’t take long to run through if you are a stat person. He has played in a total of 13 games in his career in Stillwater. The majority of the time, those games were well into garbage time when he stepped onto the field. Of those 13 games he only attempted passes in four of them. He has a total of 24 passing attempts and has an overall completion percentage of 62 percent. If he manages to throw for a touchdown in the opener it will be his first as a collegiate athlete.
Although Mike Gundy made the announcement early for game one, that doesn’t mean Cornelius has the spot wrapped up. The competition to overtake him on the depth chart will be stiff with freshman Spencer Sanders and Hawaii graduate transfer Dru Brown still in the mix. Sanders, the highest rated quarterback from Texas in this recruitment cycle, walked into camp with a lot of excitement. He was rated by many as the number eight overall dual threat high school quarterback in the nation. In his last two seasons of high school, he threw for over 7,100 yards and ran for another 2,479. In those two seasons he totaled an astonishing 126 touchdowns. He is the real deal and certainly looks like the quarterback of the future for the Cowboys.
Dru Brown comes from the University of Hawaii as a seasoned veteran looking for a starting roll. Brown started for two seasons as the Rainbow Warriors quarterback and totaled 5,273 total passing yards on 747 attempts. He has a completion percentage of 62% and a respectable touchdown/interception ratio of 37/15. The least appealing number on his stat sheet would easily be the 48 times he has been sacked. If he looks to take the helm at some point this year, he will have to prove to Gundy and the rest of the staff at Oklahoma State that he knows how to get the ball out of his hands a lot quicker.
The prediction here for the QB race is that Taylor Cornelius losses his starting position by the end of week three. The gut feeling is that Dru Brown would take snaps at that point until the Cowboys feel like Sanders is ready for a shot, as he is the future of the program. However, with the grueling schedule that the second half of the season holds for Oklahoma State, it could be just as likely that Sanders is not ready to play this season. Either way, don’t look for Cornelius to have a long leash with Mike Gundy at the other end of it.