It is safe to say that J.W. Walsh has had an odd career path at Oklahoma State. From being a U.S. Army All-American, to being 3rd string, to starting, to being on the bench again, to maybe starting this Saturday against defending national champion Florida State. His career could go one of two ways this season: he could either figure it out and be lights out, or be the guy who has the talent who just can’t put it together.
Zac Robinson on the other hand got minimal playing time his freshman year, but after that he was the guy. He started full time as a sophomore and all the way through his senior year. Zac brought a "presence" to the Oklahoma State Cowboys during his time in Stillwater that J.W. just hasn’t been able to conjure up, put in a bottle and unleash when necessary.
Personally I love J.W. as a QB for OSU. If he can just figure it out, channel his competitiveness into results ON the field, he could have a Clint Chelf type year, saving the season for the pokes. If J.W. can nail down those throws of 10-15 yards, he can be a lethal weapon for OSU this year, and that’s what made Zac so special.
Statistically there is no match here for overall body of work, as Zac started many more games and was consistently better than J.W. has been thus far in his career. However, despite what most people would believe, Walsh has completed nearly 63% of his passes at OSU, while Zac only completed 61%. J.W. also has a pretty good TD to INT ratio thus far, with 22 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Through his first two years of real playing time, Zac had 48 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, so they are operating around the same numbers, proportionally.
That leads me to my next thought. When I started this piece I thought it would be similar to my Desmond Roland post, full of tables and numbers, statistical comparison after statistical comparison. I bring my thoughts full circle and think to myself, hmmmm....I believe that we might be over thinking Walsh, as a whole. J.W. is J.W., not Brandon Weeden, which I feel has become more of the standard since he left rather than the outlier. Weeden did great things at OSU, raising the bar for QB play to Heisman trophy candidate level, which is just unrealistic. Clint Chelf played really well some games, but he wasn’t always stellar.
We need to realize that a team can win without having an amazing QB. Do you need a serviceable, above average QB to win? Of course, but does anyone really think that J.W. is not capable of above average? He does a lot of the same things that Zac did, and if he doesn’t always have to look back over his shoulder to see how close Clint or Daxx is lurking, maybe he’d be as good, if not better than Zac! They are the same type of player, but Zac had the full endorsement of the coaching staff, and never really had to look back once he got the starting job. Both provide dynamic mobility both structured and unstructured, neither one is stellar at making the "NFL" throws, but they are both above average, serviceable college QBs!
So basically, Just give J.W. the freaking job and lets roll!