Shapen to be named starting QB; Bohanon enters transfer portal

Sophomore Blake Shapen to be announced as the starting quarterback for the Bears in the fall after stepping up last season when Gerry Bohanon was injured. Brittany Tankersley | Photo Editor

By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor

Baylor football underwent an intense quarterback battle during the offseason for the second year in a row. This season, the results were different.

Last year fifth-year senior Gerry Bohanon was named the starter, but this time it seems sophomore Blake Shapen has come out on top and emerged as the leader of the offense, with Bohanon entering the transfer portal on Wednesday.

Rumors of Shapen being named the starter began surfacing Tuesday evening with SicEm365 reporting they had learned the information through multiple sources. Head coach Dave Aranda reportedly made the decision after Shapen impressed in the Green and Gold game on Saturday, followed by one-on-one quarterback meetings and discussions with offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and quarterbacks coach Shawn Bell on Tuesday afternoon.

The 6-foot, 192-pound Shreveport, La. native, signed with Baylor in 2020 originally intending to play both baseball and football for the school, but redshirted his freshman year.

Shapen played in six games as a redshirt freshman in 2021, including two starts. He completed 72.1% (62/86) of his passes for a total of 596 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. He was thrusted into the starting role toward the end of the season after Bohanon suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter of their game against Kansas State University. Shapen led the Bears to a 20-10 victory on the road, going 16-of-21 for 137 yards.

Shapen went on to lead the team to a win over Texas Tech University in the season finale, and helped give the Bears their third conference championship. Shapen shined on the big stage, earning the Most Outstanding Player award after finishing 23-of-28, passing for 180 yards and three touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 171.5. He also set a Big 12 Championship game record and an AT&T Stadium record with 17-straight completions.

While Bohanon ultimately came back to lead the Bears to their Sugar Bowl victory, as Shapen was sidelined with a shoulder injury, Shapen had done enough to give the coaches a tough decision to make going into the offseason and through the spring.

Now with the decision seemingly finalized, given Bohanon entered the transfer portal, all eyes turn to where the 6-foot-3, 221-pound Earle, Ark., quarterback will end up. He ended last season completing 76.9% (173-225) of his passes for 2,200 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for 323 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the Bears to their winningest season in program history.