Jeff Lebby needs a quarterback in Starkville to run his offense and the Mississippi State football team may have found him one in a Big 12 transfer.
The Mississippi State football team may have found its quarterback for the next season. Blake Shapen, previously of the Baylor Bears, seems to be coming to join the Mississippi State Bulldogs. You can think of him as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Sawyer Robertson to Waco.
Shapen, in his time with the Baylor Bears, helped Dave Aranda win the Big 12 championship when he got the start for the Bears and threw three touchdowns against Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas.
As Pete Thamel reported, Shapen is on his way to Starkville:
While there are going to be a flurry of thoughts on how Shapen fits into this offense and how his production with the Baylor Bears wasn’t always all that great, Shapen certainly seems to have the raw physical tools to play well in the veer-and-shoot.
Mississippi State football reportedly gets commit from Big 12 transfer portal quarterback Blake Shapen
Shapen is generally seen as a quarterback who can chuck the ball deep when called to do so and he’s demonstrated he can scoot around when asked to be mobile.
In Lebby’s veer-and-shoot, dual threat quarterbacks are greatly appreciated, but they aren’t necessarily always running around wild. Lebby seems fond of his RPOs, but his offense has also demonstrated that just a little mobility is enough to keep the offense moving down the field consistently.
Think Bryce Petty. Or, uh, Dillon Gabriel.
And so, bringing Shapen to play in this system? It could certainly play out well. Lebby has seen firsthand what Shapen brings to the table and he knows the potential fit that the young quarterback can provide to this offense.
It could work out well for the Bulldogs. Shapen will need to stay healthy though. But, at the end of the day, it matters who Lebby is able to piece around him. The Bulldogs will need some deep threats at wide receiver and they’ll potentially need a couple offensive linemen who understand how this system works.
The ultra wide wide receiver splits the veer-and-shoot features and the fact that this offense creates a ton of space should provide whichever QB is charged with running it the opportunity to gash defenses regularly. Should the Bulldogs actually surround Shapen with a couple of talented wide receivers, this offense might just work next season.
Don’t necessarily buy narratives of “this offense will very work regardless of what happens in recruiting this season.” It might take a couple recruiting cycles to really get all the talent the Bulldogs need here.
So, if someone is saying MSU will be able to contend immediately, maybe take that with a grain of salt. But don’t think that the addition of Shapen is a bad one. This is a pretty good pick up for the Bulldogs.