Despite having only two career notches under his belt, Texas Longhorns true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele is proving to be everything the Longhorns needed at the position for the past half-decade and more. Buechele’s early efforts have ushered in a level of excitement that has evaded the ‘Horns since the days of Colt McCoy, who happens to be the most common comparison for the 18-year-old Arlington native.
Initial indications suggest the hype is deserved, and at this point in Buechele's tremendously young career, he already looks to be more of a sure thing than McCoy was throughout his first two career starts. McCoy enjoyed the luxury of a redshirt season under Vince Young.
Now obviously, Buechele has quite a way to go before he’ll be deemed worthy of having his name honored inside Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, as McCoy has done, or even truly deserving the comparison. But anyone with eyes will tell you that Buechele has been nothing short of remarkable throughout his first eight quarters as the Texas field general, and the circumstances only add more allure to a potential Longhorns legend in the making.
When Buechele trotted onto the field as the starting quarterback against Notre Dame, he was the first true freshman quarterback to do so for Texas since 1944. Playing in front of a record crowd at DKR on national television against a top-10 team only increased the pressure.
Yet, courtesy of beautiful touch on various throws, praiseworthy poise, and a calm demeanor throughout, Buechele stole headlines after a 280-yard, two-touchdown debut that ended in a victory.
Texas freshman Shane Buechele to Armanti Foreman for the TD. Could you ask for a better play?#NDvsTex pic.twitter.com/UYnM5T8Hax— Hardys Closet® (@HardysCloset) September 5, 2016
John Burt didn't drop this pass. 72-yard touchdown. #Texas pic.twitter.com/VXNITueZ7n— Curtis (@Curtos07) September 5, 2016
Lucky No. 7 managed an even more impressive display against UTEP; a game in which Buechele was without three starting offensive linemen and another reserve due to injuries before and during the game. Not to mention his starting tight end and running back.
But as we’re already learning to expect, Buechele demonstrated maturity, accuracy, and even game management and situational recognition beyond his years. As a result, Buechele was the star of the 41-7 Texas victory over UTEP after completing 22-of-27 passes with four touchdowns.
Touchdown Texas: Buechele does it again. This time to Dorian Leonard. #Hookem pic.twitter.com/B38PiZKfU8— Hookem Football (@hornsfootball) September 11, 2016
"Shane, one of the things he does is his preparation. He goes and he works on it the whole week.
As we now reflect on Buechele’s first two starts at Texas as a true freshman, making him the first quarterback in school history to do so, Buechele isn’t just performing at an exceptionally high level, but he’s outperforming Heisman candidate quarterbacks across the board.
En route to making an early name for himself, Buechele has been the nation’s 13th-most accurate passer (71.7 percent) and his 188.3 quarterback rating is good for No. 8 in all of college football. And it’s worth noting that Buechele is a dropped John Burt pass in stride a shoestring tackle at the goal line on Jerrod Heard and a Jacorey Warrick goal line fuel away from improved efficiency numbers and three more touchdown passes.
Of the six touchdown passes Buechele has thrown, five went to different receivers, signifying just how well the true freshman has been sharing the wealth with his numerous playmakers.
As a Texas WR, if you can create separation, you have to feel pretty sure that Shane Buechele will put it right on your hands. How he does.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) September 11, 2016
In short, Buechele has looked exactly like what many hoped and prayed the future at the quarterback position could be for Texas after so many fell short of expectations, and he’s likely only going to be better with each week.
In Sterlin Gilbert’s offense, in which many expected to be explosive, Buechele has become the trigger of a high-powered weapon in the making. And with his sniper-like accuracy and grasp of exactly when to let it fire, his performances have shown us how special he is going to be as he continues to mature.