By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
Let’s be honest.
Is anyone going to be shocked if redshirt junior quarterback Blake Shapen is named the starting quarterback for the 2023 season? To me, it looks like Shapen will be named for the second-straight season this week, and I don’t think it’s even in question.
With Baylor football’s 15-practice spring season now over, all eyes are on Sept. 2, the day the Bears will open their season against Texas State University at McLane Stadium.
Head coach Dave Aranda has a decision to make before that day comes regarding his quarterback battle, and that announcement is expected to be made this week. Shapen and redshirt sophomore quarterback Sawyer Robertson have emerged as the primary contenders for the starting job throughout the spring.
Both slingers made plays Saturday in Baylor’s annual Green & Gold game, but that scrimmage has never been a real indicator of much to me in terms of moving the needle for a player. Aranda announced Shapen as the 2022 starter a few days after last year’s Green & Gold game, but I think that decision had been close to confirmed beforehand.
And that situation was a little bit different, as Aranda and his staff wanted to do right by 2021 starter Gerry Bohanon and give him enough time to transfer and start for another school, which he did.
While it’s been impressive to see Robertson step in and make Shapen work for the job, it just seems way too tall of a task for Robertson to actually be named the starter this soon.
If it were up to me, I thought neither of the two quarterbacks looked like they separated themselves on Saturday; I would wait longer before naming someone.
I guess that’s why the season doesn’t start tomorrow. We’re finishing up the spring, and both summer and fall camp remain ahead as well.
Robertson transferred to Baylor from Mississippi State University between semesters. He didn’t get much action with the Bulldogs, but his 6-4, 210-pound frame offer more of an NFL-style QB for Aranda and the offense.
With Shapen standing at 6-foot tall, 200 pounds, he’s at a disadvantage in terms of athleticism and just seeing over the offensive line. But what Shapen has on Robertson is knowledge of the system under center.
Love him or hate him, Shapen spent every down of every game in 2022 as the starting quarterback. He knows that offense to a tee and has the upside to improve under offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and that system.
Now, last year I told folks there was no chance Shapen beat out Bohanon, and I ended up being wrong. I’m not saying Robertson isn’t capable or deserving of winning the job, I’m just telling you what I expect to hear this week.
Let us know what you think. Tweet at us @BULariatSports on Twitter.