Baylor has named incumbent Blake Shapen the team's starting quarterback after a competitive battle in the spring, coach Dave Aranda announced on Tuesday. Shapen beat Mississippi State transfer Sawyer Robertson to retain the job. 

Shapen led the Bears to the 2021 Big 12 championship after then-starter Gerry Bohanon suffered an injury. He completed 82.1% of his passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns to edge Oklahoma State 21-16 and capture the Bears' first Big 12 title game victory. Shapen ultimately beat out Bohanon to earn the starting job outright during spring ahead of the 2022 season. 

Shapen's skillset was expected to be a perfect fit for the team's dropback passing game, but the unit was inconsistent in his first full season. Shapen completed 63.3% of passes for 2,790 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His 7.6 yards per pass attempt ranked lower than Bohanon's mark the previous year.

After losing Bohanon and backup Kyron Drones to the transfer portal, Baylor was aggressive in adding depth at the position. Expectations were high for Robertson after he transferred from Mississippi State, becoming the highest-rated quarterback recruit on Baylor's campus since Jarrett Stidham. Robertson ranked as the No. 134 overall player in the 247Sports Composite Ratings in the Class of 2021. After losing the job, Robertson told Aranda that he was still committed to Baylor. 

In addition to Robertson, Baylor added junior transfer RJ Martinez from FCS Northern Arizona as an insurance policy. The Bears did not take a quarterback in the 2023 recruiting class. 

Inconsistent campaign

Inconsistency has plagued Shapen during his time on campus. At his best, he set a Big 12 title game record with 18 completed passes to lead the Bears to a win over Oklahoma State in 2021. At his worst, Shapen threw two interceptions and averaged 5.3 yards per passing attempt in a 31-3 loss against eventual Big 12 champ Kansas State

Injuries may have played a role in some of his poor performances last year. After suffering a concussion against West Virginia, Shapen completed 10% less of his passes and threw as many touchdowns as interceptions. Aranda complimented Shapen's consistency in the spring; could a clean bill of health get him back on track? 

Revamped passing game

Unlike last season, Baylor was aggressive in the portal to add offensive contributors to the mix. Arkansas transfer receiver Ketron Jackson was in line to take over No. 1 receiver responsibilities for the Razorbacks. North Texas tight end compiled nearly 400 yards receiving for the Mean Green in 2022. Highly-rated 2022 receiver recruits Armani Winfield and Kelsey Johnson should also take on bigger roles. 

Additionally, three of the team's top four pass catchers are back, including the explosive Monaray Baldwin. Top outside receiver Hal Presley gets another year of development and Tight end Drake Dabney looks ready to take the next step after hauling in 16 catches a year ago. 

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