As Will Rogers leaves the Mississippi State football program, Jeff Lebby and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are losing one of the most productive passing threats Starkville has ever seen. That leaves a gaping hole to fill at arguably the most important single position in college football.
Lebby, who is known for his offensive pedigree and also his ability to maximize quarterbacks, may have found a suitable replacement for Rogers. At least in theory, that is.
Blake Shapen, the former Baylor signal caller, is leaving Waco and on his way to join Lebby and the MSU Bulldogs in Starkville. Shapen isn't a bad pick up by any stretch of the imagination, though he wasn't the splashy addition that some Mississippi State football fans wanted.
Still, it looks like some, including Cole Cubelic, are pretty impressed with the addition of Shapen to the MSU football roster.
Shapen received a pretty solid endorsement from the ESPN analyst (and SEC Network reporter and podcaster and radio host) during a recent episode of Cubelic's solo podcast.
Mississippi State football: Cole Cubelic shares his thoughts on transfer portal addition of QB Blake Shapen
"I think Shapen is a kid that can make all the throws, a little bit extra mobility," Cubelic explained. "You're not going to design an entire run package for him and live on it but he's got it if you need it."
For the record, I agree with that sort of assessment (and wrote about it on a couple different occasions):
Cubelic also seemed to value the wealth of experience that Shapen is bringing with him to Starkville. That's right, in addition to the QB's above average athleticism, the former Baylor Bear quarterback also has spent three seasons of playing in the Big 12. During that time, Shapen threw for over 5,500 yards as well as 36 touchdowns.
"He can make all the throws. A big strong arm, a ton of experience. You only have one year, but I think that's a good sort of stopgap for Jeff Lebby right now to be able to bring him in get through this season figure out who you want to go with and where you want to go after that," Cubelic added.
And he's right. If the Bulldogs can't get another quarterback to transfer in, Shapen provides stability and can act as a stopgap for MSU as Lebby starts to build this program in the way he wants to see it run.
Losing Rogers, a multi-year starter and record setting quarterback, hurts. And it creates a pretty big question mark at a pretty important position. But, the addition of Blake Shapen might be able to help ease things up a bit. And that'll be certainly true if Lebby can figure out how to maximize his new quarterback's potential.
There aren't any guarantees and MSU fans expecting certain success should slow down just a bit, but it is a good sign to see someone like Cubelic impressed here.