By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The revolving door at offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State over the past few years hasn’t been lost on senior quarterback Clint Chelf.
From Dana Holgorsen to Todd Monken and now Mike Yurcich, the one constant for the OSU offense over the past four years has been Chelf — be it as a backup behind first-round draft pick Brandon Weeden, a third-stringer behind Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh or as Heart of Dallas Bowl Most Valuable Player.
“I’m very comfortable. He came in where it was one of those situations like with coach Monken where he was learning our system,” Chelf said. “So after a few practices he’s kind of getting the play calling down and we’re getting a feel for him and what he likes to call in certain situations.”
While Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy pegged Chelf as OSU’s starting quarterback during Wednesday’s press conference before a spring practice at Boone Pickens Stadium, the native of Enid isn’t the only quarterback managing how things will be run under the new offensive coordinator.
OSU fans — and the Cowboy quarterbacks — know all too well how important the depth at quarterback position can be following last year’s injury-plagued season under center.
“We’re blessed to have these guys and we’re lucky that we have them here and they’re all good kids. It’s difficult to play that position and we’re in some uncharted waters based on reps and how we distribute reps,” Gundy said. “I’m not sure we have all the answers because we have the responsibility to get them all ready to play because they’ve certainly proven they are good enough to compete in our conference. So we do the best we can to make sure they are ready to play and to make sure our team is ready to play and give them the best chance to win.”
With having three quarterbacks with victories in Big 12 Conference games to manage — and another quarterback in Arizona transfer Daxx Garman, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules — Gundy said it still hasn’t been that difficult for his new offensive coordinator to pick up where Monken left the offense in December.
“The transition works pretty smooth. When I got into it for the bowl game, I had two weeks to pick the system and learn it enough to call plays, it’s not really that hard,” Gundy said. “I think the transition has been smooth and I think it will continue to get better as Mike gets adjusted to it and the speed of our players.”
Understandably, Yurcich is attempting to add his own flair to the explosive OSU offense — just like Monken did when he first arrived in Stillwater following Holgorsen’s departure for West Virginia. But according to the quarterbacks, the new coordinator is vastly different from his two predecessors in one respect.
“His language isn’t as colorful,” Walsh said.
Walsh said Yurcich is more fun to play under than the previous coordinator. That’s no surprise considering the video of him from his last job where he diagrammed a play using Legos.
“They were all characters, but he’s not as big of a character,” Chelf said. “But he’s one of the most passionate guys that I’ve ever been around. If you sit in a meeting with him and he starts talking about football, you can just tell he’s getting revved up — his voices gets loud, where it seems like he’s yelling but he’s just so excited.”
But that doesn’t mean the quarterbacks wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that happen in the near future.
“We haven’t had any Legos yet, but we’ll see,” Walsh said. “He’s definitely a fun coach and we have had quite a bit of fun with him so far. We’re excited to move forward into the fall with him.”