Wes Lunt, a former four-star recruit who threw for 436 yards and four touchdowns in just his third game in the NCAA, is leaving Oklahoma State. He has named Vanderbilt as one of the five schools that he is debating on for his transfer destination.
Lunt came on strong in his first month of NCAA play, but suffered a knee injury and then a concussion that kept him from hanging on to the starting job in Stillwater. When it became clear that the Cowboys had a crowded house at quarterback, the would-be sophomore decided to find greener pastures. Those pastures may include Vanderbilt, a destination with a loaded depth chart of its own at QB. The Commodores will have Patton Robinette, Johnny McCrary, Josh Grady, and recruits K.J. Carta-Samuels and Elijah Staley competing for snaps in 2014. Louisville, Tennessee, Illinois, and Southern Mississippi are also contenders for Lunt's services.
Vanderbilt had offered Lunt a scholarship back in 2011, but the dropback passer chose the Cowboys and their wide-open passing attack instead. His home-state school, Illinois, may have an early edge in his renewed recruitment, but their recent offensive struggles could make programs like Vanderbilt's and Louisville's more attractive. With Grady able to play several different roles on the offense and Staley penciled in as an "athlete" right now, the 'Dores could feasibly make space for the talented gunner for 2014. Vandy recently lost a passing prospect when four-star QB Chad Kanoff declined his scholarship offer in Nashville to attend Princeton as well.
Lunt has the skill to become a high-level starter in the SEC if he stays healthy, and he'd be a boost to whichever roster he ends up on. Still, it's tough to see him choosing the Commodores after leaving Oklahoma State due to congestion on the depth chart at quarterback. While Austyn Carta-Samuels's graduation next year would likely leave the team with a quarterback competition for '14, Lunt would be playing catch-up behind players like Robinette and McCrary.
It's a nice boost for James Franklin to have a well-recognized prospect put Vanderbilt in his final five. Lunt may end up being Vanderbilt's quarterback of the future, but the 'Dores have the personnel to survive without him. Even with that in mind, expect Franklin and his staff to put the full-court press on Lunt, especially with Tennessee in the thick of the competition for his services.