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Baylor's offensive makeover begins with new starting quarterback

Blake Shapen leads a new-look Baylor offense into the 2022 season.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Expectations are sky-high for the Baylor Bears coming off one of their most successful seasons in program history. 

Before we include them into our 2022 College Football Playoff bracket, it's important to remember that this isn't the same team from 2021. 

Plenty of defensive leaders are gone, hopeful to play on Sundays. However, maybe the most notable change is the starting quarterback. 

Blake Shapen will get his opportunity to start under center. 

“I had full confidence in the coaching staff in making the right decision" linebacker Dillon Doyle said at Big 12 Media Days. "It was kind of made known that whoever didn’t win was gonna transfer and that’s kind of the nature of college football now.”

Shapen beat out Gerry Bohanon in a quarterback battle this spring. It prompted the former starter to enter the transfer portal and head for sunny days at the University of South Florida. 

His absence was decided by head coach Dave Aranda, who says the decision was hard to make. It came after the spring game when the coach said it was Shapen's arm that set him apart. 

He had to opt for a player before person approach, which is polar opposite from the team's motto. 

“There is no me without Gerry," Aranda said. "There is no last year without Gerry. There’s none of that. You walk in my house, I have pictures of my kids posing next to Gerry, it’s just kind of a crazy thing.”

Shapen is the guy moving forward and tight end Ben Sims is confident in the gun slinger.

“Blake’s got a great arm," he said. "He’s a great leader, these last seven months you’ve seen him flourish and become an influential leader.”  

There is a lot of youth on this offense, especially in the wide receiver and running back rooms. The veteran leadership will come from the offensive line, where four starters will return. Aranda hopes that they can lead the way. 

At the end of the day, all eyes will be on QB1. 

“Blake’s been called to the forefront with all that and he's answered the call man and I just think it’s way cool," Aranda said.

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