Junior quarterback Shane Buechele announced his decision to transfer from the Texas Longhorns and spend his final two seasons of eligibility with the SMU Mustangs on Thursday, marking an intended return to the Metroplex for the former Arlington Lamar standout:
The decision ended weeks of speculating about Buechele after he entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal in mid-January. In the immediate aftermath of that decision, head coach Tom Herman left open the possibility that Buechele would continue working out with the team throughout the spring, but Buechele ultimately declined.
“Shane Buechele didn’t feel right being around his team,” Herman said on Wednesday.
As a result, he’s still on scholarship and still has access to the facilities to train, but he’s not going through the offseason conditioning program at Texas and won’t participate in spring practice. The Longhorns staff still checks on him once a week to see if he needs anything academically as he finishes up his degree in sport management.
The former starting quarterback appeared in two games this season filling in for an injured Sam Ehlinger. Texas won both games, thanks to solid game management against Baylor and a perfect passing performance against Iowa State.
Since he only played in two games this season, Buechele was able to maintain his redshirt season. That also means he has the opportunity to play anywhere right away being a redshirt transfer. He will enter next season as a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility remaining.
After Ehlinger injured his shoulder early on against Baylor, Buechele filled in nicely coming in cold off the bench, completing 20-of-34 passes for 186 yards and throwing a touchdown in the narrow 23-17 win over Baylor.
Against Iowa State on Senior Day — and what turned out to be Buechele’s final game at DKR — he was a perfect 10-for-10 passing for yards and a touchdown.
Buechele was a key part in the development of Ehlinger throughout his first two seasons, too, as he remained committed as a backup and played the role of a young quarterback coach with the headset on.
As a freshman, in Sterlin Gilbert’s veer-and-shoot offense, Buechele played in 12 games and threw for 2,958 yards and 21 touchdowns. He became the first UT player since Bobby Layne (1944) to start his first career game. As a sophomore, Buechele appeared in nine games last season, including as the starter against Maryland and in the bowl win over Missouri. He threw for 1,405 yards and seven touchdowns while conceding starting quarterback reps to Ehlinger.
So while Beuchele won’t go down as one of the top quarterbacks in team history, he will go done as an extraordinarily committed teammate who has drawn the praise of his coaching staff at every turn.
Good luck at SMU, Boo.