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May 7, 2012
Oklahoma State is replacing its 28-year-old quarterback with a guy who just graduated from high school.
Five months after leading Rochester (Ill.) High School to a second consecutive state championship, Wes Lunt has been named Oklahoma State's starting quarterback. The early enrollee won the right to replace Cleveland Browns first-round draft pick Brandon Weeden after going 15-of-23 for 215 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions in the Cowboys' spring game.
According to Oklahoma State's records, no true freshman quarterback has started a season opener since at least 1950. The last true freshman quarterback to start any game for Oklahoma State was Tone Jones in 1993.
"I'm overwhelmed," Lunt told reporters last week after receiving the news. "It's such a humbling experience. Coming in early, I knew I had a chance to compete for the job, and to get it is just overwhelming. I know that we're still going to compete through summer and two-a-days, so it's not over."
Lunt represents the most notable example of a newcomer who helped his case by enrolling early and participating in spring practice. But he's not alone.
Now that spring practice has wrapped up at campuses across the country, here's a look at 15 early enrollees who participated in spring workouts and could have featured roles this fall.
This list isn't reserved for true freshmen. It also includes junior college transfers and prep school products. But in all cases, the people on this list will be making their major-college football debuts this fall.
EARLY ENROLEES TO WATCH IN 2012