5. Rusty Hilger
Rusty Hilger was Oklahoma State’s quarterback 1980-84. During his sophomore year in 1981, Hilger led the Cowboys back to relevance by reaching the Independence Bowl after a five-year drought from postseason play. In the 1984 season opener, Hilger led OSU to a 45-3 beat-down against then-No. 1 Arizona State. The 1984 season ended up being one of the most successful in OSU history. The Cowboys finished with a 10-2 record and a victory against South Carolina in the Gator Bowl. Hilger finished his career at OSU with nearly 4,000 passing yards and 24 touchdowns.
4. Josh Fields
Josh Fields was a two-sport athlete at OSU and was known for his stardom on the baseball field rather than the football field. However, as a true freshman quarterback in 2001, Fields led the Cowboys to a 16-13 upset victory against the then-No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners. During his 2002 season, Fields threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns to help the Cowboys reach a Houston Bowl victory against Southern Mississippi. In 2003, Fields led the Cowboys to a 9-4 record and set the OSU single-game passing touchdown record with seven (all thrown to Rashaun Woods) in a 52-6 win against Southern Methodist. Despite a loss to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl, Fields set the passing yardage record for the historic bowl game with 307 yards through the air. Fields finished his OSU career with 6,090 passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns, both fourth in school history.
3. Zac Robinson
Zac Robinson is one of the most beloved players to ever wear an OSU jersey. Robinson was named the starting quarterback as a sophomore in 2007 and recorded 847 rushing yards, 2,824 passing yards and combined for 32 touchdowns. His 3,671 total offensive yards was second only to Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow with 4,181. Robinson was named the MVP of the 2007 Insight Bowl in OSU’s win against Indiana. During his junior season, Robinson recorded over 3,000 passing yards and accounted for 33 total touchdowns. He led the Cowboys to a 9-4 record and an appearance in the 2008 Holiday Bowl. The trio of Robinson, tailback Kendall Hunter and receiver Dez Bryant gave OSU national attention, and put the Cowboys as a top 10 team in the 2009 preseason rankings for the first time since the 1980s. Robinson and OSU center Andrew Lewis became the first OSU athletes ever to graze the cover of Sports Illustrated in the magazine’s college football preview. Robinson began the 2009 season by throwing for 135 yards and four touchdowns in OSU’s season opener against the then-No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs. Injuries to Robinson and Hunter, and a suspension to Bryant, foiled OSU’s high hopes for 2009. Robinson still racked up 2,084 passing yards and 15 touchdowns while helping the Cowboys finish with a 9-4 record and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. Robinson finished his career at OSU with 8,317 passing yards (3rd in school history) and 66 passing touchdowns (2nd in school history), while going an impressive 25-14 as a starter in what was arguably the Big 12’s most talented stretch.
2. Mike Gundy
Mike Gundy has made a name for himself as the current and most successful coach in Oklahoma State football history, however, Gundy’s OSU roots go back to his days as the Cowboys’ quarterback in 1986-90. Gundy became the starter midway through his freshman year in 1986. In 1987, Gundy helped lead OSU to a 10-2 record and a victory against West Virginia in the Sun Bowl. Gundy was aided by Hall of Fame running backs Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders but still threw for 2,106 yards. In 1988, Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in what has been called the greatest individual season in college football history. Sanders and Gundy led the Cowboys to another 10-2 record and a victory against Wyoming in the Holiday Bowl. Gundy finished the season with 2,163 yards and 21 touchdowns. Gundy finished his career as the all-time leading passer in Big 8 Conference history. He threw for 8,473 yards (2nd in school history) and 57 touchdowns (3rd in school history) and went an impressive 20-4 as a starter prior to the 1989 season. Gundy became the OSU head coach in 2005 and has put together the most successful stretch in school history while at the helm.
1. Brandon Weeden
Brandon Weeden started his college career at the age of 23 after a four-year stint playing professional baseball. He didn’t get any major playing time until a 2009 matchup with Colorado when he replaced an inured Zac Robinson. He led the Cowboys to an 11-point comeback victory. Weeden was named the starter prior to the 2010 season. After a six-touchdown performance in a win against Tulsa, Weeden was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. He helped OSU soar past Robert Griffin III and then-No. 22 Baylor, and helped the Cowboys beat Texas for the first time since 1997. The 2010 Cowboys finished with an 11-2 record and dismantled Arizona 36-10 in the Alamo Bowl. In his 2011 senior season, Weeden led OSU to an 11-1 regular season, a No. 3 ranking in the BCS standings and OSU’s first ever Big 12 title. In the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, the last game of his college football career, Weeden threw for 399 yards, completed 29-of -42 passes and had four touchdowns in a 41-38 overtime win against Stanford. Weeden’s performance in 2011 gave him the school record for single-season passing yardage with 4,727, and touchdowns with 37. Weeden finished his career at OSU as the all-time leading passer in school history with 9,260 total yards and 75 touchdowns, both records previously held by Gundy.