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OSU quarterback competition ignites with start of spring ball

STILLWATER -- Monday ushers in the start of spring football practice at Oklahoma State, and the grand opening of the Dru Brown-Spencer Sanders quarterback competition.

The soft opening came in December, when both players spent time running the first-team offense during bowl preparations.

But it’s more serious now. The real main event doesn’t begin until August, but the 15 practices that will come over the next six weeks will have an impact on the competition, the summer, and the eventual decision on OSU’s next quarterback.

For The Oklahoman’s final position breakdown before the start of spring practice Monday afternoon, here’s a look at the Cowboys’ signal-callers.

Players lost: Taylor Cornelius, Keondre Wudtee, John Kolar

Players returning: Dru Brown, RSr., Spencer Sanders, RFr., Shaun Taylor, RFr.

Newcomers: Brendan Costello, Fr. (on campus)

Three storylines to watch

Triggerman surrounded by weapons

Whoever wins the Brown-Sanders battle will be plugged into a ready-made offense with four returning starters on the offensive line, a Biletnikoff Award finalist leading a talented receiving group, and a running back who showed the makings of a star at the end of last season.

That doesn’t mean OSU will be looking for a game manager who can simply put the ball in the hands of the stars around him and not mess things up. OSU relies on a quarterback who makes proper decisions, reads defenses well, makes plays on the move when asked, and delivers passes with accuracy in all situations.

The OSU quarterback has to be a playmaker for the offense to be efficient.

Learning Gleeson

While both quarterbacks have been on campus for more than six months, and spent a full season sharing second-team work, they’re going to be on the field for the first time Monday with new offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson.

Gleeson, who came in from Princeton, has spent the last couple months learning OSU’s offense, and he’ll sprinkle in his own touches.

Now Brown and Sanders will get to see what Gleeson is like as an on-field coach, and they’ll begin learning how the path of communication will work with their new coordinator.

QB on the run?

If Gleeson -- and the influence of new offensive line coach Charlie Dickey -- brings anything notably new to the OSU offense, the quarterback run game would probably be atop the list.

Gleeson’s offense at Princeton featured a dual-threat quarterback last season, and Dickey spent a decade coaching blocking schemes for running QBs at Kansas State.

Sanders was a running threat in high school, and Brown has shown the ability to be an effective runner as well.

Related Photos
<strong>Oklahoma State's Dru Brown will begin competing for the starting quarterback job when spring football practice starts Monday in Stillwater. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Oklahoma State's Dru Brown will begin competing for the starting quarterback job when spring football practice starts Monday in Stillwater. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5c775d089d31c94f08a0a4106364534d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State's Dru Brown will begin competing for the starting quarterback job when spring football practice starts Monday in Stillwater. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Oklahoma State's Dru Brown will begin competing for the starting quarterback job when spring football practice starts Monday in Stillwater. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Oklahoma State's Dru Brown will begin competing for the starting quarterback job when spring football practice starts Monday in Stillwater. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›

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