The shakeup of the Baylor football program in 2023 continues. After the announcement of the departure of Offensive Coordinator Jeff Grimes, as well as announcements regarding the staff overall and “off-field” changes within the program, Baylor starting QB Blake Shapen has announced his intention to enter the NCAA transfer portal, per Pete Thamel of ESPN.
Baylor QB Blake Shapen (@BShapen) tells ESPN that he intends to enter the NCAA transfer portal. He has at least one of eligibility remaining and will be immediately eligible. He started 23 games for the Bears and is looking to compete for a starting job at a winning program. pic.twitter.com/WNRaqxjaJr— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 27, 2023
Shapen had started 23 games for Baylor since 2021, including being thrust into action after an injury to Gerry Bohannon required him to shepherd the Bears to wins over Kansas State and Texas Tech, before beating Oklahoma State in the 2021 Big 12 Championship Game. Shapen was then able to beat out Bohannon for the starting job in 2022, where he finished the year with 2790 yards and 18 TDs in 13 games.
2023 was a rough year for the QB, as well as the rest of the team, as he battled injuries at the beginning and close of the season. After being injured in the opening game against Texas State, Shapen missed games against Utah, LIU, and Texas. Upon his return, he led the Bears to a frantic comeback on the road against UCF. Shapen would win only one more game for Baylor, against Cincinnati, before suffering another injury late in the game against TCU that sidelined him for the final contest of the year against West Virginia.
Shapen will close out his Baylor career with 5574 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions with a 63.7% completion percentage. He will have at least one year of eligibility left, and per Thamel’s report, will be looking to land somewhere that’s primed to win now, rather than in the midst of a rebuild such as Baylor’s.
It’s not surprising to see a QB look for a new landing spot after his OC is fired. And given the lack of recent success that Baylor has had, and honestly, some up and down support from his own fan base, Shapen looking to finish his career elsewhere could even be expected. Still, it’s another bump of uncertainty as the Bears head into 2024. Currently, Sawyer Robertson should be expected to be number 1 on the depth chart heading into next season. The Mississippi State transfer filled in for Shapen during his injuries this year and had some bright spots, but he will need to learn a new offense from whomever the Bears bring to lead that side of the ball for next season.
Losing your starting QB is never fun, but Shapen has experienced the highs that come along with hoisting trophies at the end of the year. With limited time remaining in his football career, hopefully the move lands Shapen somewhere he can see confetti fall once again.