- The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No matter where Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden turns, he can’t escape the age-old question — literally.

At 28, you are supposed to be doing something besides playing quarterback in college.

Weeden gets it from the media, on his Twitter page and even his teammates with one presenting him with a walking cane and a box of Depends adult diapers when he turned 28 on Oct. 14.

Most days Weeden seems to be a good sport about the constant barbs where is his age is concerned. But there are days when the senior becomes a little irritated, especially when the subject of NFL teams being reluctant to take a shot on a close-to-the-edge 28-year-old rookie.

“On the ballot, there’s not an age requirement. It’s stupid. I’m so sick of hearing about it,” Weeden said recently to reporters in Stillwater, Okla. “It’s one of those things. People need to find some new material. It’s getting old real quick.

“There’s just so many other questions you can ask other than being 28 years old,” Weeden went on to say. “Why can’t we talk about [All-America receiver] Justin Blackmon or the team winning games? That’s way more important than me being 28 years old.”

But his age just adds to incredible story that could see Weeden transition from minor league pitching prospect to 23-year-old college football walk-on to a Heisman-caliber season and a spot with his team in the Fiesta Bowl.

It’s hard to find a story in college football more compelling than the one that has delivered Weeden to center stage alongside household names such as Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson and Kellen Moore.

“I am happy for him,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “Any type of accolades that come Brandon’s way represent our football team and what we have been able to accomplish. He is very deserving. He has done everything we have asked him to do. He has been a great leader for us.

But the one person who isn’t caught up in the Weeden hype in Stillwater is Weeden.

“It’s exciting, but I don’t worry about it,” said Weeden, who spent five seasons in the minor leagues after being drafted by the New York Yankees organization out of high school. “It’s one of those things to be listed with guys like Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson and all those guys across the country — that’s exciting, but I don’t get wrapped up in it.

The Cowboys (11-1) have been winning largely because of Weeden and the numbers he continues to put up in his second season as the starter. Weeden finished the regular season with a 72.6 completion percentage. He threw for 4,328 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Weeden had been a dark horse Heisman candidate for much of the season, but he took a step forward when he threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns in a 66-6 win over Texas Tech on Nov. 12 — the same day Stanford’s Luck and Boise State’s Moore suffered defeats.

But Weeden credits much of his success to a talented group around him that includes Blackmon, the nation’s top receiving threat.

“When you’ve got Justin Blackmon, you can just throw it up to him and your chances are pretty good,” said Weeden. “We don’t change what we do in the red zone. We continue to run our offense. We’ve just got good players. I don’t know if there’s a secret recipe or we do anything different. It’s just a matter of our backs not losing yards and continuing to move forward and not take any negative plays and being able to finish drives.”

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