Team: Arlington Lamar Vikings
Gunslinger: Shane Buechele
2014 stats and end result: 2,492 pass yards, 30:6 TD:INT ratio, 67 percent completion rate, 572 rush yards and 7 TDs on ground. 8-2 regular season record; lost in first round to Abilene.
The burnt orange faithful should be giddy with the 2016 gunslinger Texas’ Charlie Strong managed to receive an oral pledge from last spring. He’s one of the most accurate passers headed to the Forty Acres next fall.
The four-star signal caller is the nation’s No. 4-ranked dual-threat QB according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and was Texas’ first oral commit at the position from the 2016 class.
Buechele’s 67 percent completion rate last season as a junior for the Vikings is what stood out to Strong, and he believes Buechele could be a perfect fit for the Longhorns’ new spread offense, which debuts this season.
“If you look in this state right now, most of the offenses, 98 percent of them are spread,” Strong said. “A lot of the young men that come out of these programs are spread when you look at the skill positions, look at the quarterback position. What we’re thinking about is we know we need to open it up some.”
Buechele’s accuracy was revealed at the biggest and brightest stage for gunslingers in the country. He competed against 29 other quarterbacks from across the country at the Elite 11 competition, which takes place at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
The competition is designed to find the top 11 quarterbacks in the country by a series of physically demanding tests, throwing under duress, keeping a team calm in high-stress situations and hitting targets from up to 50 yards away. Buechele was an Elite 11 finalist by competitions end, and for good reason.
On day two of the competition, Buechele won the Golden Gun Target Challenge award for his precision passing, footwork and overall mechanics.
Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer is the head coach for the competition. He spoke highly of Buechele’s performance, even comparing him to some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.
“The way his hips, core, shoulders unwind, the way the ball’s loaded,” said Dilfer, “literally, it’s Aaron Rodgers. It’s Drew Brees good.”
Buechele will use the experience he gained throwing and surrounding himself with some of football’s top talent at the prestigious competition to be the trigger in Lamar’s high-octane offense.