User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
No. 22 Cowboys get behind 'Choo Choo' Chelf at QB

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - No matter who's at quarterback, the offense has chugged right along this season for No. 22 Oklahoma State.

Advertisement
The engineer these days is Clint ``Choo Choo'' Chelf, the third-stringer who has gone from practically unknown to cult hero in a matter of weeks.

Once forgotten at the bottom of the depth chart, Chelf was thrust into the starter's role after Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh both got hurt. After back-to-back wins in the first two starts of his career, Chelf is the starter after coach Mike Gundy spent the past two months trying to keep it a secret who'd take the snaps from game to game.

``Whatever train he's driving, I'm getting on,'' Gundy said Monday.

The ``Choo Choo'' Chelf concept was sparked by a profanity-laced Internet post that was jokingly attributed to him leading up to Oklahoma State's game against West Virginia two weeks ago. With uncertainty over whether Lunt would be able to play, the possibility arose that Chelf would finally get a real chance after backing up first-round NFL draft pick Brandon Weeden the past two seasons.

A Chelf-related hashtag trended on Twitter as he threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the Mountaineers, and center Evan Epstein only encouraged it after the game with his tweet: ``All Aboard!''

``I think it's hilarious,'' Chelf said. ``I think it's great any time they can take something and run with it. It just happens to be about me, I guess. I think it's funny.''

Making it all the more comical is that the boisterous, all-caps expletive rant couldn't be more different from Chelf's actual mild-mannered, unassuming personality. When asked if he was looking forward to starting in the Bedlam game, Chelf answered simply: ``Absolutely.''

No bragging about Oklahoma State's potential to win back-to-back games in the series. No trash talk.

``He's not a guy that's going to be running in there head-butting guys like a train ... pumping his fist,'' defensive end Cooper Bassett said. ``He's more like a quiet competitor, and he'll celebrate with his teammates, but he very rarely tries to get the attention on himself, which is the sign of a great leader and a great competitor.''

Gundy said part of his rationale in naming Chelf the starter at this point is the groundswell of support for him not just in public, but on the team.

``I think the guys are behind him,'' Gundy said.

Chelf's story is one of perseverance. His only chances to play over the past couple seasons were in garbage time, taking meaningless snaps after Weeden and the first-teamers had victory well in hand.

He finished third in the three-way competition with the freshman Lunt and redshirt freshman Walsh in the spring, and there didn't seem to be a light at the end of his tunnel. Yet the junior didn't quit or transfer somewhere else where he'd be more assured of playing time.

``For me, I don't really feel like it's any type of feel-good story. There's a lot of stories around college football that are a lot more exciting and better than mine,'' Chelf said. ``I just was a player that got beat out and stuck with it and got a chance. I'm happy that it happened.''

Chelf grew up in a divided household in Enid, about an hour's drive west of the Oklahoma State campus in north-central Oklahoma. His mother's family supported the Sooners, his dad's side the Cowboys and he attended games at both stadiums.

As he was getting recruited by OSU in high school, he really started to pick sides. His older brother, Colton, also walked on as a wide receiver for the Cowboys.

Now, he'll be the one in the spotlight when Bedlam rolls around.

``Any time that you can get on a stage like that and perform well, you want to do it. There's a lot of times when I said, `I hope that can be me some day,''' Chelf said.

With all the sudden attention, Chelf said he's not the big man on campus - perhaps because he's nearing graduation and only has one class a day, with the rest online. With social media, though, his stardom is well-known.

``I saw it on Twitter and it just kind of blew up after that,'' receiver Isaiah Anderson said. ``I've seen people with conductor hats on and train whistles. It's ridiculous, but I'm happy that he's kind of getting out there like that, and I'm pretty sure he's enjoying it too.''

At practice, his teammates will yell ``choo choo'' at him and Bassett even caught himself celebrating a Cowboys touchdown pass by pumping his fist as though he were pulling on a train whistle.

``It's really taken off. It's only about a week old, but he's already got shirts made for him,'' guard Lane Taylor said. ``It's crazy. I've never seen anything take off like this before.''

Bizarre as it may be, the Cowboys just hope Chelf doesn't get derailed any time soon.

``If that makes him play better, then I'm all for it because he's done a great job being known as the Clint Chelf `Choo Choo' Train,'' Bassett said. ``So, we'll ride that train the rest of the season and hopefully it'll carry us to a few more wins.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Texas A&M at South Carolina
Edwards: Friday's Tip Sheet
Edwards: 2014 Big Ten Predictions
ASA: Win Totals to Watch
News: Final Four Consensus Picks
Williams: ACC Report - Week 1
Williams: Pac-12 Report - Week 1
Marshall: Team to Watch - Louisville
Edwards: 2014 ACC Predictions
MORE HEADLINES
 
2013 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1921
Joe Nelson + 1446
Bruce Marshall + 1350
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Joe Nelson 60 %
Doc's Sports 57 %
Joe Williams 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1312
Brian Edwards + 580
James Manos + 443
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1283
Jimmy Boyd + 966
James Manos + 756
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1100
Doc's Sports + 1090
Joe Nelson + 940
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Mississippi Rebels at Boise State Broncos
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
   
   
   
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last Week  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
   
   
   
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
   
   
   
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
   
   
   
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
   
   
   
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!