Initial impression of Shane Buechele
Transfer QB earns some first-team reps in first SMU practice Posted on 08/03/2019 by PonyFans.com
|Transfer quarterback Shane Buechele earned the praise of his new coach, Sonny Dykes, after his first day of practice as an SMU Mustang (photo by texassports.com/SMU athletics).
Like many coaches, SMU’s Sonny Dykes preaches the value of competition as the best way to sort out position battles among his players.
But the landscape has changed a little. With shifts in the NCAA’s transfer rules and policies that allow more and more players to throw their names into the transfer portal, there is a greater emphasis on players who arrive on campus with some college experience.
This year alone, the SMU roster lists 17 players — cornerback Sam Westfall, quarterback Shane Buechele, cornerback Chevin Calloway, safety Cam’ron Jones, linebacker Armando Fitz, linebacker Brian Holloway, kicker Luke Hogan, long snapper Michael Poujol, offensive lineman Coby Bryant, offensive lineman Charlie Flores, offensive lineman Thomas Shelmire, tight end Tommy McIntyre, defensive end DeAndre McNeal, defensive tackle Will Jones, defensive tackle Zach Abercrumbia, punter Russell Roberts and defensive lineman Cody Banks — who were enrolled last fall at other universities or junior colleges.
None is under a brighter spotlight than Buechele.
It’s not surprising, of course. Coming out of Lamar High School in 2016, Buechele was well-known in recruiting circles. He had a prolific high school career and a recognizable name, as the son of former Texas Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele. He counted schools from the east coast (North Carolina) to the middle of the country (Oklahoma) to the west coast (Cal, where Dykes was coaching), as well as SMU, among his 12 scholarship offers before ultimately signing at the University of Texas.
Because of his name and his pedigree, many assume that his decision to transfer to SMU means he immediately will become the Mustangs’ starting quarterback. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t — a single day of practice is nowhere near enough for the coaches to solidify their decision there.
But when the Mustangs took to the field Friday for the first time in preparation for the 2019 season, Buechele did get some reps with the first-team offense. Dykes said that, at first glance, he was impressed with Buechele.
“You can tell he’s done this before,” Dykes said when asked about his initial impressions of Buechele in his new red SMU jersey. “You know, I think that was what drew us to him — just his experience. You know, I think he’s a pretty calm, cool customer, and I think that’s the most … if you sit down and say what’s most important at quarterback? I think that’s probably it.”
At Texas, Buechele made an early splash, wrestling the starting quarterback job away from incumbent Tyrone Swoopes. In three seasons, Buechele completed 403 of 648 passes (62.2 percent) for 4,636 yards, while throwing nearly twice as many touchdowns (30) as interceptions (16).
Buechele is at SMU, at least in part, because Sam Ehlinger is firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback at UT. But one thing that has earned raves from his former teammates and coaches alike was the professional way in which approached the quarterback change.
“I have told you guys, and I want to tell the world: Shane Buechele is the most engaged, he’s the most prepared, he’s the most positive coaching backup quarterback I’ve ever been around in my life,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said in an interview published on burntorangenation.com, “and I’ve been around some really good ones, really, really good ones.”
Whether Buechele becomes the Mustangs’ starting quarterback is, at this point, a guess. He’s still learning, Brown is showing significant improvement and Gipson appears to be earning a nod of approval as he continues his comeback from a knee injury that ended his senior season of high school football prematurely and limited him in SMU’s spring drills after he enrolled early to jump-start his college career by going through spring drills with his new team. One day into his SMU career, Buechele showed that, if nothing else, he is ready to compete for the position.
“I was really impressed with all three of the quarterbacks,” Dykes said. “I thought Terrance Gipson did some good things for a young guy, flashed at times, and I thought Will (Brown) continued to improve from where he was in the spring. So we’ll see. It’s going to be a good competition, and (I’m) kind of excited to see how it all plays out and looking forward to the next couple of weeks.”