Arguably the biggest piece of news out of Mike Gundy’s talk with the media at Big 12 media days came before the press conference.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Gundy named Taylor Cornelius as the probable starter for the beginning of the season.
He did point out the fact that there are guys behind him and he’ll have to see how they do. This will be interesting to follow.
As far as Gundy’s press conference, he expanded more on Cornelius, talked about the defense, wide receivers and Justice Hill.
When asked about naming Cornelius as the starter and the new red shirt rule playing into the quarterback spot:
When we came out of spring we felt very comfortable with Taylor, so certainly going into August he’s our guy. He’s been with us a number of years. He understands our offense. We’re confident in his abilities. We don’t have a clue what we’re going to do with the new redshirt rule. We will have to get together in August and see how it plays out.
When asked about new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles:
Glenn was great for us for a number of years. We needed a change. I think Coach Knowles approach and how he’s handled our defense will be different. The 4-2-5 is considerably different than what we’ve done over the last few years. I’m really as interested and as excited as you are to see what happens. I like watching him coach. Very intriguing person. I think he’s a great teacher. His mannerisms and the way he goes about getting information across to our young men. I would say more of an aggressive approach, but I will be learning just as much as you do as the season progresses.
When asked about the league being wide open:
I think there is a number of players in this league that make it interesting. A little bit of a rebuilding year from what’s been fantastic quarterback play over the last few years for most of the schools, us included.
Some of them have returning guys. I think the quarterback play is so important in this league and for that matter maybe everywhere in the country. But teams change. As we’ve talked about, earlier with Coach Knowles and our defense, how well we can play early in the year will be interesting. I know there is enough talent on teams in this league to play very well each Saturday. I would go back to the round Robin format of the Big 12. I think that’s why it makes it very interesting. You really don’t have a chance for a let-down any of the Saturdays in the fall.
When asked about Washington, Ateman and Rudolph being gone:
James and Ateman and Chris Lacy have been great for us, not only as great football players, but very humble young men that love being on our team.
Jalen McCleskey, Tyron, who’s been with us for a year and Dillon Stoner. We’ve got some guys that have made a number plays for us that will have to play a bigger role this fall.
I think the interesting part of that question is how well our quarterbacks can play early in the year, compared to the immaturity we have at the wide receiver spot, in comparison to Washington and Ateman and Lacy, and then while hanging our hat on our running game with Justice and the young backs we have that we think are going to be good college football players
When asked about the offensive line:
I think that our offensive line will be better than last year. We’ve got four young men that will get quality time that if played a lot of reps against quality opponents. I know that our overall size and strength combination will be better. We will have one position that we won’t have any experience at, but we’ve been down this road before.
I’ve always felt like you needed seven offensive linemen to stay fairly healthy and be competitive in order to have a good offense, meaning you need two centers and a role guard and a role tackle. I think we will have that this year. I’m excited about those guys. We do have a couple young players that, if they pick it up quick and adjust well to Saturdays, they could make us considerably better in the latter part of the season
Here’s the full press conference: