How Garret Rangel is showing mental, physical maturity in Oklaho ma State football QB race

The Oklahoman
STILLWATER — Ollie Gordon’s eyes got wide as he prepared to answer the question he was asked following Oklahoma State’s football practice on Tuesday morning at the Sherman Smith Training Center.
Gordon, one of the Cowboys’ top running backs, was asked how much quarterback Garret Rangel — who was Gordon’s roommate last spring — has developed physically since last fall.
“He’s put on some weight,” Gordon said with his trademark grin. “That boy’s gettin’ swole.”
It’s true.
Last season, when he made three starts in place of the injured Spencer Sanders, Rangel looked like a teenager straight out of high school, which he was.
But his offseason work has helped him add 15 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Garret Rangel started three games for the Cowboys last season and is competing with incoming transfer Alan Bowman for the starting job.
Feeling stronger and more physically prepared as a redshirt freshman, Rangel is feeling more comfortable as he competes with super-senior Alan Bowman and redshirt sophomore Gunnar Gundy for the starting job.
Head coach Mike Gundy has said he’ll wait at least another week before he names a starter, and he could let the competition play out even longer if no one separates themselves.
While Bowman has the overall experience edge with more than 20 college games played in his career, Rangel has the OSU experience edge with 115 pass attempts in four games (three starts) last season.
So his knowledge base has grown to match his physical stature.
“My focus in the offseason was putting more weight on so I could be more comfortable in the pocket,” Rangel said. “Throwing strikes, instead of being hesitant and not wanting to get hit. I went to the bowl game at 185 and now I weigh 200.”
Rangel feels the added strength in his release as well.
“The ball is just coming right out of my hand,” he said. “Instead of hitching into a throw, I can just stand back and throw it.”
The OSU quarterback room has a unique mix of voices these days. Bowman and freshman Zane Flores are the new guys, though Bowman is in his sixth year, at this third school, having been a starter at Texas Tech and a backup on a pair of Michigan playoff teams.
Walk-ons Gunnar Gundy and Peyton Thompson have the most collective time spent at OSU, but Rangel saw the field more last season.
The eclectic backgrounds allow the players to see varied perspectives on play designs and defensive reads.
“What’s really made this quarterback group special is everyone’s learning from each other,” Rangel said. “When Alan came in, we all got along very well. Being able to understand what he sees on a certain play, what Gunnar sees, what Zane (Flores) sees or what I see, it’s really interesting to hear everyone’s side of the story and it makes learning the offense and learning defenses a lot more fun.”
Rangel says Bowman’s personality helped him blend quickly with his new teammates, and has made for a positive competition among them.
“As soon as Alan came in, I didn’t know what to expect, because I had never met him before,” Rangel said. “He’s very personable, super-easy to talk to. We always joke around, have a lot of fun. He’s always calm, always smiling. It’s good to be around him.”
As for Rangel, his personal growth shows to those around him — especially his former roommate.
“He’s really patient now,” Gordon said. “He’s more patient now. He goes through all his progressions. He makes better throws. He’s always been a good passer.
“We always knew Garret was a good player. He’s a great player. But it takes time with us growing up. We were freshmen together last year. As time goes, we mature more. So I feel like he’s even better now.”
Oklahoma State quarterback depth chart
Name, Class, Ht., Wt., Hometown (Previous school)
Alan Bowman, RSr.*, 6-4, 209, Grapevine, Texas (Michigan)
Garret Rangel, RFr., 6-2, 200, Frisco, Texas (Lone Star)
Gunnar Gundy, RSo., 6-1, 200, Stillwater
Zane Flores, Fr., 6-3, 200, Gretna, Nebraska
Peyton Thompson, RSr., 6-1, 214 Tulsa (Central Oklahoma)

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