No promises have been made by Charlie Strong, but true freshman Shane Buechele will at least have a shot to win the job as Texas' starting quarterback when the Longhorns host Notre Dame on Sept. 4 in Austin.
Tyrone Swoopes, a senior and familiar face under center, will also play, and Strong has said that while he won't make an announcement on the starter for that game (for gamesmanship purposes) he does have an idea who will take the field first.
"The decision will be made and then the team will know," Strong told reporters. "I'm not going to put it out there, because I don't want Notre Dame to know who we're going to start at quarterback."
Buechele made up for his inexperience in the competition by settling in as an early enrollee and shining in the spring. When the spotlight cut on for the new college student, Buechele dropped a 299-yard, two touchdown half in the spring game. More hype confirmed? Texas dropped this highlight video from practice; check 1:01 mark where Buchele connects with quarterback-turned-wide receiver Jerrod Heard on a 50-yard touchdown.
The starting quarterback at Texas is a big deal. The fact that it could be a true freshman is a huge deal. Only 23 games have been started by true freshman in school history (13-10) and Buechele has a real chance to add to that tally this season, possibly in the opener against Notre Dame.
Since he's a freshman, Texas won't make Buechele available to the media to provide his side of the story. Luckily, we can start to build out the narratives for this potential star thanks to this fascinating Dallas Morning News profile of the Longhorns freshman. Consider this the his "checklist" for television broadcasts and future columns, because if he wins the job, we'll hear and read much more about Buechele's life.
- Father, Steve, played for the Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs during his 11-season run in Major League Baseball before coaching. He's now a bench coach with the Rangers.
- Sister was quoted him an "oops baby" since Shane was born after his father had a vasectomy.
- All four siblings (two brothers, two sisters) are diehard Oklahoma fans. This factoid will be good to know for your Red River game watch party on Oct. 8.
Regardless of what happens eventually, the fact that Texas and Notre Dame get a day to themselves on college football's opening weekend presents a unique stage. Whatever Swoopes or Buechele do with that opportunity against the Irish will play a big role in the perception of the quarterback competition.