Former Texas Longhorn and four-star quarterback Shane Buechele announced in mid-January that he would enter the transfer portal after receiving limited playing time the last two seasons, and the starting job was ultimately given to potential Heisman candidate Sam Ehlinger. Buechele decided that he would move three hours north to play for Sonny Dykes’ Southern Methodist Mustangs on February 7th.
This is a huge pickup for Dykes and the Mustangs as they now have a solid quarterback to replace Ben Hicks, who they lost to former head coach Chad Morris at the University of Arkansas, leaving a gaping hole on the Mustangs’ starting offense. The six quarterbacks on SMU’s roster not named Shane Buechele are sophomore William Brown, redshirt-freshman Derek Green, sophomore Austin Upshaw, and redshirt-freshman Jacob Oehrlein, along with incoming freshman Terrance Gipson.
Out of those names, the player who gives Buechele the biggest competition is Brown, Hicks’s backup last year, who played in seven games, starting three.
With all of these quarterbacks on the roster, the player who is the safest bet is Buechele, and here is why:
- Buechele played at a top Division 1 school for the past three seasons and generally played pretty solid.
- He amassed over 4,000 yards passing, with 30 touchdowns, and has a total QBR of 132.6. He was named honorable mention Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2016, ESPN.com’s All-Big 12 Underclassmen, and a 2x Academic All-Big-12.
- He has also had the most experience out of all of SMU’s other QB candidates, playing in 23 games over his career.
Another positive about Buechele is leadership. In an article written by SB Nation’s Wescott Eberts, he complimented his leadership despite losing his job and his overall football IQ.
“Buechele’s dedication mostly happened out of the public eye or away from notice — his efforts in practice, his engagement on the headset during games, and even before games, when he always greeted his teammates in the tunnel.”
-Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott)
Although Buechele was supplanted by Ehlinger as the starting quarterback, he is still considered a solid player who should be viewed as a major upgrade when compared to Hicks, and could lead the Mustangs back to a bowl game.