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Baylor Football

Dave Aranda announces Blake Shapen as Baylor's Starting QB for 2023

May 23, 2023
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On Tuesday in a morning press conference, Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda officially named junior quarterback Blake Shapen as the starting quarterback for the upcoming 2023 football season. The decision was made in the days following the conclusion of spring football practice, although no formal announcement was made at that time.

Shapen started all 13 games for Baylor as a sophomore in the 2022 season and threw for 2,790 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, while completing 63.3% of his passes.

The competition for the starting quarterback position was tight, as Mississippi State sophomore transfer quarterback was also vying for the role. However, Aranda ultimately chose Shapen as the quarterback to lead the team into the upcoming season stating that it was Shapen’s team and the staff wanted to give him a chance to lead it.

Shapen's experience and ability to command were likely significant factor in the coaching staff's decision. Despite ups and downs, his performance in his first two seasons of playing time demonstrated his potential to lead the team to success, and the coaching staff believes that he has the skills necessary to continue his development and make an even greater impact in the 2023 season.

The announcement of Shapen as the starting quarterback provides clarity and stability to the team as they prepare for the upcoming season. With a remade offensive line, several new transfers coming in at the skill positions on the offensive side of ball who are expected to make big impacts, the progress of Shapen will be one of the final variables in Baylor improving on a tough season where the Bears finished 2022 with a 6-7 record.

Discussion from...

Dave Aranda announces Blake Shapen as Baylor's Starting QB for 2023

10,457 Views | 42 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by Daveisabovereproach
JP1037
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Disappointing. That guy is max 7 wins and most likely 6.

Looks like we are sticking with the hand off, hand off, sack offense.

I felt like with Robertson we at least had a chance to move the ball in the air with the threat of the QB running the ball.
IowaBear
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Real head scratcher naming a starter this early. Blake's ceiling is extremely low. He may improve but that's not saying a ton. Hopefully Sawyer gets a shot at some point
Daveisabovereproach
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Notice the language that Dave uses for Shapen. It's not that he looked great and won the job, it's that "we want him to continue to develop, the team is comfortable with him, it's 'his team' (what does that mean? It's not like the guy is George Patton, he's pretty soft spoken). Again, I mentioned this at the end of the season, but we are seeing a degree of sunk cost fallacy with Shapen. Just continue to give him time and let him develop and he will eventually turn into….I guess Zach Wilson? I don't know what the vision is there, and I don't think the coaches actually know either.
cowboycwr
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Very odd timing. No need to name anyone now with summer workouts and fall camp coming up. Maybe a motivation technique to get the other guys to try harder?
Daveisabovereproach
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IowaBear said:

Real head scratcher naming a starter this early. Blake's ceiling is extremely low. He may improve but that's not saying a ton. Hopefully Sawyer gets a shot at some point


I am willing to go on record and say that I think we will see a quarterback change after the Utah game. Their defense will give him a great deal of trouble. I expect a 28-14 type of game
BluesBear
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No Quarterback said:

Notice the language that Dave uses for Shapen. It's not that he looked great and won the job, it's that "we want him to continue to develop, the team is comfortable with him, it's 'his team' (what does that mean? It's not like the guy is George Patton, he's pretty soft spoken). Again, I mentioned this at the end of the season, but we are seeing a degree of sunk cost fallacy with Shapen. Just continue to give him time and let him develop and he will eventually turn into….I guess Zach Wilson? I'm honestly don't know what the vision is there, and I'm not sure the coaches actually know either
Ridiculous statements by Dave....frankly, his job needs to be on the line this year as well.
Daveisabovereproach
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BluesBear said:

No Quarterback said:

Notice the language that Dave uses for Shapen. It's not that he looked great and won the job, it's that "we want him to continue to develop, the team is comfortable with him, it's 'his team' (what does that mean? It's not like the guy is George Patton, he's pretty soft spoken). Again, I mentioned this at the end of the season, but we are seeing a degree of sunk cost fallacy with Shapen. Just continue to give him time and let him develop and he will eventually turn into….I guess Zach Wilson? I'm honestly don't know what the vision is there, and I'm not sure the coaches actually know either
Ridiculous statements by Dave....frankly, his job needs to be on the line this year as well.


<7 wins I think he needs to be let go. I like the guy, but if you don't have a quarterback, you don't have anything in the modern game of football.
BluesBear
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Sawyer - - Don't you go anywhere. You will see the field this year.......Dave, you basically passed on a Mike Leach QB recruit...Think about that one...
PartyBear
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Would agree except it depends on how many fewer games than 7 wins for me. The XII title and Sugar Bowl win still have some good will for me. If we win 6 for example I'm fine with another year but that year 5 needs to be special to continue on.
Daveisabovereproach
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PartyBear said:

Would agree except it depends on how many fewer games than 7 wins for me. The XII title and Sugar Bowl win still have some good will for me. If we win 6 for example I'm fine with another year but that year 5 needs to be special to continue on.


The sugar bowl bought a lot of goodwill for me as well, but bear in mind that it was done largely with Rhule's recruits. I think in year four of a coach's tenure, there should be a quarterback that they've recruited, developed, and is showing potential to take the reins. If there isn't, maybe it isn't a death sentence for that coach's tenure, but it is a red flag
Mitch Henessey
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Welp, good to know I can significantly temper my expectations for next season. I'm going to be crazy busy this fall anyway, so it's nice to know I don't need to build my weekends around Baylor football, since we're fine with running back whatever the hell last year's QB play was.
ElwoodBear57
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Hopefully, Sawyer will stick around and not immediately transfer.
ElwoodBear57
boognish_bear
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No Quarterback said:

BluesBear said:

No Quarterback said:

Notice the language that Dave uses for Shapen. It's not that he looked great and won the job, it's that "we want him to continue to develop, the team is comfortable with him, it's 'his team' (what does that mean? It's not like the guy is George Patton, he's pretty soft spoken). Again, I mentioned this at the end of the season, but we are seeing a degree of sunk cost fallacy with Shapen. Just continue to give him time and let him develop and he will eventually turn into….I guess Zach Wilson? I'm honestly don't know what the vision is there, and I'm not sure the coaches actually know either
Ridiculous statements by Dave....frankly, his job needs to be on the line this year as well.


<7 wins I think he needs to be let go. I like the guy, but if you don't have a quarterback, you don't have anything in the modern game of football.


Aranda himself acknowledged mistakes with how he handled the team last year. He's said he's learned from those mistakes.

This is a really big year for him in my opinion for us to see what we have in Aranda. I like him and hope we see improvement.

He's rolling the dice with letting go of Roberts (who Auburn scooped up pretty quickly) and sticking with Shapen. Time will tell if he's making the right decisions.
BUGWBBear
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boognish_bear said:

No Quarterback said:

BluesBear said:

No Quarterback said:

Notice the language that Dave uses for Shapen. It's not that he looked great and won the job, it's that "we want him to continue to develop, the team is comfortable with him, it's 'his team' (what does that mean? It's not like the guy is George Patton, he's pretty soft spoken). Again, I mentioned this at the end of the season, but we are seeing a degree of sunk cost fallacy with Shapen. Just continue to give him time and let him develop and he will eventually turn into….I guess Zach Wilson? I'm honestly don't know what the vision is there, and I'm not sure the coaches actually know either
Ridiculous statements by Dave....frankly, his job needs to be on the line this year as well.


<7 wins I think he needs to be let go. I like the guy, but if you don't have a quarterback, you don't have anything in the modern game of football.


Aranda himself acknowledged mistakes with how he handled the team last year. He's said he's learned from those mistakes.

This is a really big year for him in my opinion for us to see what we have in Aranda. I like him and hope we see improvement.

He's rolling the dice with letting go of Roberts (who Auburn scooped up pretty quickly) and sticking with Shapen. Time will tell if he's making the right decisions.


Aranda screwed up by not firing the OC, who couldn't develop a Polaroid. My patience is starting to wear thin with his continued trust is a wash bucket offense.
Ghostrider
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Aranda isn't going anywhere. He could win 1 game and he wouldn't be fired. He has at least 2 years if not more.

Also, Aranda should not call this Shapen's team. He has yet to prove he can lead it and I would expect Aranda to try another QB within the first 4-5 games.
BBWCBear
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BluesBear said:

Sawyer - - Don't you go anywhere. You will see the field this year.......Dave, you basically passed on a Mike Leach QB recruit...Think about that one...
Shapen, for sure if nothing else, is injury prone. Sawyer should have his opportunity.
ImwithBU
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He's the starter by default that's fine. Will you bench him is the real question
JP1037
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For all of you thinking Robertson will come in after Shapen proves to be bad again don't get too excited.

We had a supposedly decent QB on the bench last year who never saw the field despite an inept performance from Shapen (almost unwatchable in some games). I have no confidence Aranda will admit he is wrong and make a change. Aranda seems to be more of a "burn the ship's" and don't look back kind of guy even if being wrong is staring him in the face.
Fre3dombear
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No Quarterback said:

PartyBear said:

Would agree except it depends on how many fewer games than 7 wins for me. The XII title and Sugar Bowl win still have some good will for me. If we win 6 for example I'm fine with another year but that year 5 needs to be special to continue on.


The sugar bowl bought a lot of goodwill for me as well, but bear in mind that it was done largely with Rhule's recruits. I think in year four of a coach's tenure, there should be a quarterback that they've recruited, developed, and is showing potential to take the reins. If there isn't, maybe it isn't a death sentence for that coach's tenure, but it is a red flag


And that sugar bowl was won with players Dave largely didn't recruit and by a DC that was fired 4 months ago

Person over player

Let's do this
Fre3dombear
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Shapen is missing some swagger and arrogance. I thought he had that potential in 2021. It's not who he is and never will be

He's more of a let my play do
My talking and for now it's mumbling
BaylorLit 01
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6 wins here we come! 2021 was the outlier and we're getting out-recruited by Texas Tech and TCU. Shapen was chosen because he's the more likely one to transfer out if he'd lost the competition and we need bodies.
bear2be2
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IowaBear said:

Real head scratcher naming a starter this early. Blake's ceiling is extremely low. He may improve but that's not saying a ton. Hopefully Sawyer gets a shot at some point
This is the part I don't get. I'm not surprised Shapen is the guy, I just struggle to see the need or urgency to decide that now.

I'd rather the competition go into the fall, even if the ultimate outcome is a foregone conclusion.
Pastorron
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Aranda is a fine coach. Why is it that so many sideline critics always know so much which in real life know so little? Play the games and see what happens. I expect Aranda will be at Baylor as long as he wants to be at Baylor.
Daveisabovereproach
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Pastorron said:

Aranda is a fine coach. Why is it that so many sideline critics always know so much which in real life know so little? Play the games and see what happens. I expect Aranda will be at Baylor as long as he wants to be at Baylor.


Pretty judgmental of you pastor. How do you know some of us haven't been in coaching? By the way, you don't have to be Mike Ditka to tell that our quarterback situation hasn't been handled well. I always find that line of reasoning funny: you're not allowed to criticize unless you yourself have met some prerequisite that I get to determine
Daveisabovereproach
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Fre3dombear said:

No Quarterback said:

PartyBear said:

Would agree except it depends on how many fewer games than 7 wins for me. The XII title and Sugar Bowl win still have some good will for me. If we win 6 for example I'm fine with another year but that year 5 needs to be special to continue on.


The sugar bowl bought a lot of goodwill for me as well, but bear in mind that it was done largely with Rhule's recruits. I think in year four of a coach's tenure, there should be a quarterback that they've recruited, developed, and is showing potential to take the reins. If there isn't, maybe it isn't a death sentence for that coach's tenure, but it is a red flag


And that sugar bowl was won with players Dave largely didn't recruit and by a DC that was fired 4 months ago

Person over player

Let's do this


yes, your first sentence was also the point I was making. Person over player is a cute mantra, but ultimately you have to recruit the person that is a good enough player to win you games, or you're going to be shown the door
BaylorLit 01
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If the transfer we got can't beat out Shapen for the job, then Baylor failed the offseason. Another year like last year will put us years behind on recruiting. No QB or WR wants to play for the offense we displayed last year.
boognish_bear
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Pastorron said:

Aranda is a fine coach. Why is it that so many sideline critics always know so much which in real life know so little? Play the games and see what happens. I expect Aranda will be at Baylor as long as he wants to be at Baylor.
Well....Aranda has criticized Aranda. I think there have been some issues.....but he's also a first time HC finding his way. There will be some growing pains.

I hope the lessons he's learned make a positive difference in his future approach. I do like that he seems very reflective. I'm definitely pulling for the guy. There's a lot to like about him as a person...but in the future we've got to see him getting more than 6 or 7 wins per year with his own guys.
kbrun
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He is a first time coach and finding his way BUT Baylor can't wait around for him. We've been used to success and don't like settling for mediocre.
robby44
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I'm not excited
and i just can't hide it
Daveisabovereproach
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I don't think we can use the first time head coach excuse with Aranda anymore. Dude is going into his fourth season. If he doesn't have basic concepts like the importance of developing a quarterback down by now, that lightbulb is never going to turn on
BaylorLit 01
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My lasting impression of last season was getting embarrassed by a military school in a bottom tier bowl played on our rival's field while they were getting ready for a National Championship game.

So yea, let's roll that back and do it again. Smh
Booboo Bear
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BaylorLit 01 said:

My lasting impression of last season was getting embarrassed by a military school in a bottom tier bowl played on our rival's field while they were getting ready for a National Championship game.

So yea, let's roll that back and do it again. Smh
That's a really cold take.

I know. I was at that game.
BluesBear
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Can someone name me one reporter who is going to ask DA the tough questions when the season starts to fall apart????
BaylorLit 01
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None on this site, that's for sure. They're too worried that anything critical will put a stop to player access and inside info.
historian
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I'm not too surprised. Shapen is an established presence & the coaches apparently think he still has potential. I just hope that they allow the backups to play meaningful minutes during the season to gain experience & to be ready if & when they are needed. Considering our luck with QB injuries over the past decade plus, this is an imperative.
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
Psalm 119:36
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