Last night, sources reported that the Baylor Football program had found its new starting QB for the 2022 season in the form of sophomore Blake Shapen. If you’ve been around this site for a while, you’ll remember that Shapen filled in at QB for former starter Gerry Bohanon near the tail end of last season when Bohanon went out of the Kansas State game with a hamstring injury (watch my dad’s and my reaction to that game in this TikTok!). Leading the Bears to back-to-back conference victories and the program’s third-ever Big 12 Championship, Shapen was named MVP for his performance in the conference title game. Over the course of six games last year with three of them being in garbage time, Shapen completed 62 of 86 passing attempts (72% completion rate) for 596 yards and 5 TDs. He also added 21 carries for 59 yards. In the Big 12 title game against Oklahoma State alone, he notched a collegiate-high 17 consecutive completions for 180 yards and 3 scores. Bohanon started in the Bears’ Sugar Bowl challenge against Ole Miss, but if Shapen weren’t injured from the prior game, who knows who would’ve started. Shapen’s primary skill is his ability to accurately and powerfully slug the pigskin thanks to his baseball background. Listed on the Baylor Baseball roster, Shapen came out of high school as the 4th-ranked player in Louisiana and state’s No. 1 shortstop. It’s not entirely surprising that head coach Dave Aranda would make Shapen his starter after the end of Spring ball.
However, Shapen’s success now means former starting QB Bohanon is no longer the leader of the team (DEVASTATION—remember when I raved about Gerry in one of my first ever TikToks?). This morning, 247Sports reported that Bohanon entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. Bohanon’s ability to enter the portal is only due to Aranda and co.’s decision to name a starter immediately after Spring practices ended with several days left before the May 1 deadline, which allows athletes who’ve entered eligibility for the subsequent season (read more about the May 1 restrictions in this article). Had Aranda waited til later in the offseason—perhaps right before or during Fall camp—to name a starting QB (like most selfish coaches would), Bohanon would’ve been stuck on the bench for his final year of college ball. Aranda is not one of those coaches, though. His decision shows how much he truly cares about his athletes and how he values their lives and futures more than what they can bring to the Baylor program. Bohanon (potentially) leaving Baylor is a huge loss for us as he was not only calm and poised on the field, but he was also an obvious leader to his fellow teammates. He waited on the bench for three years until it was his time to start and when he was given that honor, Bohanon personally led the Football team to the program’s best finish ever. As the starter, Bohanon completed completed 173 of 225 passing attempts (76.8%) for 2,200 yards and 18 TDs as well as 76 carries for 323 yards and 9 TDs. He also didn’t have an interception for the first six games of the season. Bohanon gave his all to the Baylor program and I’ll forever be a fan of his wherever he ends up (even if I hate the rest of his future team)!