If Buechele, the son of former Texas Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele, is solid in his commitment, and the Kiss of Death thinks he is, the days of Texas playing catch-up in recruiting in the Lone Star State appear to be over. Quarterback, believe it or not, was UT’s last hurdle (more on that in a second).
Everyone knows nothing’s done until signing day. And if you think Oklahoma is going to roll over and play dead in Buechele’s recruitment with two of his sisters in Norman and an older brother having played baseball for OU - forget it. Baby Boo, as he's known among Texas Rangers' fans in DFW, was seen as a must-get recruit by the Sooners (and also held offers from TCU, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and North Carolina, among others).
Bob Stoops, Lincoln Riley and Co. will see the next 12 months as enough time to make Buechele reconsider. (Buechele’s girlfriend apparently plans to go to Alabama and joked in a tweet Monday night that “gaudy orange” isn’t in her color wheel and she won’t wear it.)
But Buechele doesn’t make rash decisions. Just look at his game film.
And it sounds like Buechele wants to use the next 12 months to help Texas put together another difference-making recruiting class on the heels of UT’s top ten 2015 class.
And unlike last year’s class, which got an early commitment from 4-star QB Zach Gentry from Albuquerque (N.M.) Eldorado, Buechele is a Texas quarterback. Validated by 6A football at Arlington Lamar. And he may end up as the No. 1 QB in the state of Texas for 2016.
Scout currently has Texas Tech commit Tristen Wallace of DeSoto as the state’s No. 1 QB for 2016. But things can change. Honestly, I think Buechele is more polished than Wallace as a passer. Wallace is the bigger playmaker with his legs, although Buechele can scoot, too.
Texas needed a top in-state QB recruit. It may not seem like a big deal. But it is. It’s enormous. The thought of Texas having to go outside the state again for a QB after having Gentry committed before landing Kai Locksley of Maryland left a void on UT's recruiting resume under Strong.
If there’s one thing the state of Texas produces, it’s quarterbacks. Now, Texas has one of its own – one of the best - committed for 2016.
So if the Horns now feel like they can land either Xavier Gaines or Woody Barrett of Florida as the second QB in the 2016 class, so be it. Strong said from Day 1 he planned to “cherry pick” outside of Texas. Now that its in-state QB hoss has pledged to come to Austin, bring on the quality depth at QB.
I’ve said repeatedly the 2015 season has to be when Texas finds an identity on offense and its QB of the future, so that 2016 can be about a run at a Big 12 championship (even if that QB of the future turns out to be in the 2016 class).
Texas ended up trying to play catch-up in the Lone Star State QB recruiting game in 2015 – right down to the final week - with the elusive Kyler Murray … only to be edged out at the tape by Texas A&M.
This time, Texas has its in-state stud committed 12 months before signing day.
At the position that is going to make or break Charlie Strong at Texas - QB - the Longhorns got great news Monday night. And with this weekend’s Junior Day dead ahead, the timing couldn’t have been better for Strong and his staff. Top QBs attract top talent.
The days of playing catch-up in the recruiting game for Texas - against in-state schools that had a year’s head start on 2015 recruits - appear to be over.
And as evidenced by the 12 Louisville players recruited by Strong at the NFL combine each of the past two years (including 8 of the 11 UL players this year), Strong knows how to identify and develop talent.
After Buechele’s commitment, it feels like just a matter of time before Strong’s Longhorn teams start to play with the fiery edge opponents and NFL scouts came to expect from Strong’s teams at Louisville.
Between Jerrod Heard, Locksley, Buechele and any other QBs who end up coming to Texas in 2015 or 2016, it feels like difference-making depth is finally starting to stack up at the game's most critical position - and help is truly on the way on offense.
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*****Four-star QB Shane Buechele Junior Highlights
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