As with all college football teams, despite Baylor having a thrilling starting QB in sophomore Blake Shapen (read all about head coach Dave Aranda’s choice to pick Shapen over former QB Gerry Bohanon here), having extraordinary backups is just as important. 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. The Bears began recruiting their future QB in Dripping Springs’ Austin Novosad a while back, offering the high schooler on June 12, 2021. Novosad picked up offers from UTSA, Texas A&M, Rice, Texas State, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, SMU, Houston, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, and Louisiana Tech before he committed to the Bears on December 16, 2021. However, after Novosad participated in the 2022 Elite 11 Quarterback Camp over the summer, his name shot up on scouting reports. Shortly after his performance, he gained even more offers from the likes of TCU, Washington State, Stanford, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. With so many new offers and notoriety across the country, Novosad’s commitment to Baylor was no longer a guarantee (not that commits ever are). He visited Texas A&M multiple times and toured Notre Dame and Ohio State in recent months, so Baylor fans had reason to worry that our future QB could change his mind. Thankfully on Monday, Novosad reaffirmed his decision to stay with Baylor and join the team next fall.
The four star QB who stands at 6’3 and 185 lbs threw for 3,399 yards with 40 touchdowns and just nine interceptions in his junior season last year, making him a huge get for the Bears moving forward. When asked about his decision to stay with Baylor, Novosad said, “Yeah, I mean I think that you know, just getting out to all those schools, Notre Dame, Ohio State, A&M, um—you know it was needed, um—I’ve been committed for a while, but I think you know just making sure that my decision was correct. You know, I think this week—this past weekend I went to Baylor and um—got to throw with Coach Bell—the QB Coach and uh—I think it just made me feel confident about my decision and um—you know, pull the trigger yesterday. I’ve had a relationship with the whole staff for about a little over a year now and I think that you know, just continues to get better every week and um—you know when you get on Baylor’s campus, you know, talk to Coach Aranda, ‘the person over player,’ you really see it throughout the whole team. That’s what I really love about the coaching staff and I also fit really well into their offense.”