This season, the most anticipated position battle on the Texas Longhorns football team is the quarterback. Last year, Texas had rocky play from quarterbacks Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard. After February, it seemed like nothing would change at the quarterback position. However, after Texas’ annual spring game, perceptions began to change. Why did this happen? Meet Freshman QB Shane Buechele. After a dominating spring, Buechele began to turn heads of both fans and coaches alike. Today, Buechele is the clear front-runner for the starting job on September 4th against Notre Dame. Keeping this in mind, there are also two other quarterbacks competing for the starting job. Who will be the starting quarterback in 2016? Here we predict each quarterback’s role in the upcoming season.
In high school, Buechele ran a similar offense to what Sterlin Gilbert is installing at Texas. During the spring game, it was evident that Shane was comfortable in the newly installed offense. Buechele displayed an ability to hit deep throws, quick outs, and get away from trouble. The relieving news for Texas fans was on top of those, Buechele also illustrated extreme accuracy. After winning the Elite 11 accuracy competition, Shane caused some rumblings of hope among Texas fans. After the 2016 spring game, Texas fans now have a whole new dimension of hope. As an early enrollee, Buechele demonstrated his ability as a quick learner as well as an efficient player. This summer, Buechele has been working hard to get stronger and better. In a weekly press conference, Charlie Strong told a story about Buechele and Freshman WR Colin Johnson practicing routes at 10 pm on a Friday night. That is the kind of work ethic coaches love to see from their players, especially leaders of the team. The Freshman QB also made the news in a positive way this summer, with a viral Twitter video. Overall, Buechele seems to be the most ready to lead the Longhorns against Notre Dame on September 4th.
Prediction: Starting QB against Notre Dame
In what many would call a resurgence of his career, Tyrone Swoopes had a “productive” year last year. Moving from starting QB to a play a package similar to Oklahoma’s Blake Bell proved to be an effective transition for Swoopes. The 6’4 245 pound quarterback soon learned that opposing defenses did not want any part of bringing him down. After that discovery, Swoopes’ potential was unlimited, and he began to play with a swagger and confidence that nobody knew existed. This swagger and confidence led to what is now called the “18-wheeler” package. In the last game of the season against Baylor, Swoopes led Texas to its first victory over the Bears in 2 years. Although Swoopes physical attributes are perfect for the veer and shoot offense, he has never truly lived up to his potential as a quarterback. However, the Senior did prove in his Junior season that he can be useful in other ways. This season, we expect Swoopes to be involved in the same type of play package, and maybe even more. That’s a scary thought for Big 12 defenses.
Prediction: 18-Wheeler/Trick Play package, 2nd string quarterback
A two time state champion out of Denton Guyer, Jerrod Heard carried the weight of an impatient fan base on his shoulders coming into Texas. At the beginning of the 2015 season, the pressure seemed to make his play even better. Heard had astonishing performances against both Cal and Oklahoma, leading Texas fans to believe he could be the future. Unfortunately, opposing teams discovered that taking away Heard’s ability to run deeply impaired his game. Once that happened, Heard’s play began to digress drastically. After a disappointing end to the season, rumors have surfaced that Heard may be switching over to wide receiver. Several experts saw this as a place where Heard could fill his full potential. Although the move is not official, it seems likely that Texas fans could see Heard at wide receiver this fall. With his speed and quickness, Heard could reach heights at wide receiver that he never dreamed of reaching as a quarterback.
Prediction: Move to wide receiver
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