By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor
News broke Tuesday morning that Baylor sophomore quarterback Jacob Zeno entered his name into the transfer portal.
Zeno lost a battle for the starting job to junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon in fall camp. Since then, Bohanon has completed 73.3% of his passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns while also rushing for 112 yards and four scores, leading the No. 21 Bears to a 4-0 start to the season.
Head coach Dave Aranda said he wishes Zeno nothing but the best moving forward and wants him to be happy.
“I appreciate Jacob,” Aranda told SicEm365’s David Smoak. “I value him as a person, I recognize the qualities he brings as a player. I respect the way that he competed and not asking for this type of treatment or not wanting this type of selection, but totally investing in the competition. When things didn’t come his way, accepting it and working to get better and then when there became a battle for the number two spot, same thing.”
Aranda clarified in the same interview that Zeno’s decision has no affect on Aranda’s view of him.
“So nothing but respect from me for him and his family,” Aranda said. “I know he’s very close with his dad and this was something they wanted to do, and I can see it and understand it. And I told him ‘nothing but positive stuff [from] me and I’ll help you, whoever and whatever. Please let me know.’ I want to see him be happy and be somewhere where he can fulfill the stuff he wants to do. When you look at where the quarterback position is going, I think there’s probably going to be more of this. I would like for us to not have to experience a lot of it. I imagine we’re all probably old school in that way of thinking, but you know, from Jacob’s part, I understand it, and I wish him well.”
Zeno quickly became a fan favorite his freshman year after entering the 2019 Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma for Bohanon and former Baylor starting quarterback Charlie Brewer, who both left the game due to injury. Zeno finished the game 2-for-6, passing for 159 yards including an 81-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Trestan Ebner, tied for longest pass play by a Baylor freshman in program history.
Coming out of John Jay High School in San Antonio, Zeno had offers from the University of Florida, Georgia, Missouri, NC State, Boston College, North Carolina, Arkansas and others.
Redshirt freshman Blake Shapen looks to be the backup quarterback for Baylor the rest of the season.