I stayed with Charlie Strong for the entire interview breakout portion at Tuesday's Big 12 Football Media Days. Throughout the one and a half hour media session, Strong had a lot of significant remarks about true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele. ... And I mean a lot!
Here are the head coach's thoughts on the freshman QB.
Thoughts about starting a true freshman
"It really doesn't bother to me for a freshman to start at quarterback. When I was at Louisville, Teddy (Bridgewater) started as a freshman.
"What you have to look at is he's surrounded by enough and he has enough around him. You look at that quarterback position and we just say listen, we need you to manage the offense, don't turn that ball over and don't put us in a bad place. Get us to a good place.
"When he's surrounded by those two big backs and you look at them up front, that's their job, too, to protect him. So it really doesn't bother me. I just think that he's going to have enough around him where he should feel pretty good about what he's doing."
Players respect for Buechele
"The thing about Shane is he just comes from an athletic family and he knows how to compete. He's getting the respect from his teammates, and that's more than anything. Our players respect him.
"Last night, me and (Caleb) Bluiett were at dinner, and we were talking about how I walk into that game room, Bluiett and Shane are on the pool table. I said, 'Who's up?' And Shane started laughing and said, 'Come on coach, you know I'm winning.' Then you come back and he and Michael Dickson are playing ping pong and he's winning there. Everything and everywhere he goes, he's all over the place.
"We have it now where our freshman are there, so because of their class schedule, they work out at 2 o'clock. But Shane's not in that group because he came in January. So he's still with the upper classmen. But he comes in there at 2 o'clock and he sees every freshman, shakes their hand and will tell them good luck today with the workout. He comes by there every day. He's going to come by there to see the rest of the freshmen every day.
"Some people just have this presence about them and carry themselves a little bit differently. I don't think that pressure will ever affect him. He's just one of those guys that has that presence and he just knows how to work, how to train and how to go about doing things.
"Some day he is going to be an outstanding leader. But he doesn't have to lead the team right now. My upper classmen and older guys are coming along. They're all talking and are stepping up now, which we hadn't seen."
What makes Buechele different
"Shane can win the room because the guys have so much respect for him. I call him a gym rat because you see him around all of the time. Some guys have that persona about them, some guys have that personality and some guys know how to carry themselves.
"The good thing about Shane is he comes from a family where is his dad is with the Texas Rangers, his brother was at Oklahoma. Shane understands and he gets it. It's so funny because you don't see too many guys that come along like that. He's a special young man because he can handle himself and carry himself in a different way."
"We'll know not very long into preseason camp who the guy is going to be."