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Oklahoma State Football

Oklahoma State Quarterback Room Might Be the Deepest It's Been Under Gundy

March 27, 2024

STILLWATER – Tuesday marked the first day of spring football for Oklahoma State, with plenty of storylines to talk about over the next month. With those storylines, there’s also plenty of reasons to be excited about the Pokes’ 2024 season, with quarterbacks being towards the top of the list.

Mike Gundy returns a seven-year quarterback in Alan Bowman, who’s coming off a solid “senior” season in which he went 304-of-501 for 3,460 yards with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Behind him is redshirt sophomore Garret Rangel, redshirt freshman Zane Flores and true freshman Maealiuaki Smith, pronounced MY-uh-LEE-oo-AH-key according to the OSU media guide, who’s already on campus.

While Bowman (obviously) needs to work on limiting the interceptions this fall, there’s a ton of advantages to having a quarterback who’s been playing college ball since some of his current teammates were in middle school. A WILD concept to think about.

“AARP, social security – potentially, before it runs out,” head coach Mike Gundy joked about on Tuesday of Bowman. “Lot of experience. He’s been really good from Day 1, but even more settled in over the last few months. More comfortable. I’ve always said, in my opinion, there’s not really any substitute for experience and maturity. We had a lot of success with [Brandon] Weeden, he was 28ish, 27, 29, somewhere in that area. Same thing, these guys bring a lot to the table from an experience standpoint.”

I’m sure Gundy wasn’t saying Bowman is going to have a breakout Weeden season this fall, just that having a quarterback as old and mature and as experienced as Bowman allows an offense to have a lot of success. Even going back to last year, when Bowman ran into adversity, other than UCF of course, such as throwing a pick or a drive stalling out or other various oddities or turnovers, Bowman didn’t allow it to affect his game. 

With the entire offensive line returning, along with Ollie Gordon II and as deep of a receiver room as we’ve seen in a handful of years, Bowman should, in theory, have a great season.

Jeremy Cook - Pokes Report

Then behind him you have a seasoned and veteran back up in Rangel. No one wants to be going into their third year of college ball, especially a quarterback, as a third year back up. But there’s certainly an advantage to having a backup where the game’s slowed down quite a bit.

Right beside Rangel is redshirt freshman Zane Flores. I use the term beside rather than behind because Flores will be competing for QB2 and has a very good chance of seeing the field this season should something happen to Bowman.

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“We didn’t really see Zane last year, he was on our scout team,” said Gundy. “He practiced with our young guys at the end of practice and every day, they got 10 reps. Much different than the setting the setting he’ll be in now. This will be a time for us to evaluate and watch him grow. Lots of reps for him and Rangel to get out there. We’ll work those guys, and we’ll rotate them all through. And we’ll see who comes out on top and earns the job.”

There aren’t too many true freshmen who can come in and earn legitimate reps straightaway and Smith is no different. He was a great high school quarterback and has a ton of potential, but just as Flores last season, this will be a learning period for Smith. And lucky him, he gets to learn from three very good quarterbacks. 

“Versatile, [he] can do different things, moves well, mature, gonna have good size,” Gundy said of Smith. “We’re a ways away, but we like the tool set and what potential he brings.”

We never learn a whole lot of substance throughout the spring,  but the QB2 quarterback battle and watching 

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Oklahoma State Quarterback Room Might Be the Deepest It's Been Under Gundy

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