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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Q&A: QB Shane Buechele

Buechele is currently emerging as one of the top 2021 NFL Draft QB prospects

NCAA Football: Boca Raton Bowl-Southern Methodist vs Florida Atlantic Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although we are just under a year a way from next year’s draft, SMU QB Shane Buechele has been linked to the Bucs on the second or third day of the 2021 NFL Draft in a few early mock drafts.

Tom Brady signed a two-year deal with the Bucs during free agency. This means that the 2021-22 season is the final season for Tom Brady’s contract. The Bucs could do what the Chiefs did with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes. Buechele would serve as a backup in his rookie year and learn under Brady. Heading into his second year, he would take over as the starting quarterback.

Buechele started his college career at Texas. As a true freshman, Buchele earned the starting job. Buechele threw for 2,958 and 21 passing touchdowns along with two rushing touchdowns in his first year. Buechele was named honorable mention for the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.

In his sophomore year, Buechele started seven games. He was forced to sit out of a few games due to a shoulder injury and an ankle injury. In nine total games, Buechele threw for 1,405 yards and seven passing touchdowns along with two rushing touchdowns.

Heading into his junior year, following training camp, Sam Ehlinger was named starting quarterback. Buechele served as a backup throughout the 2018 season. In just two games, Buechele threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Following the season, after entering the transfer portal, Buechele announced that he would be transferring to SMU.

This past year, in his first season with SMU, Buechele quickly emerged as one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback in the American Athletic Conference. In 13 games, Buechele threw for 3,929 yards and 34 touchdowns along with two rushing touchdowns. Buechele was named First Team All-AAC. He led the Mustangs to a 10-3 record and a birth in the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl where they fell short to Florida Atlantic. Heading into his senior year, Buechele is one of the top returning quarterbacks in college football.

I spoke with Buechele about his college career, what it was like for hime seeing some of his former teammates get drafted, and more. Here is the interview:

Q: With everything being shut down due to the coronavirus, what have you been doing to pass time football wise?

A: “I mean obviously we’ve been working out. I think the biggest thing is just staying shape, making sure you’re getting off your feet, and just really working out as much as you can. Past the extra workouts and stuff like that, I’ve been trying to throw as much as possible. Past all that stuff, I’ve been doing a lot of film study. Film study on either past games from last season or on different defenses that I’ll be facing next year. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff just to try and better myself.”

Q: What was it like for you seeing some of your teammates drafted a few days ago?

A: “Oh man, it was awesome. For me, I think I was getting a little antsy for them because I know how good they are. I was hoping that they’d go earlier. I had some buddies from Texas that I played with that went pretty early. They deserved that and they’re great players. But also there is a receiver that was drafted in the fifth round by the Jaguars that should’ve went higher and they got a steal. There’s another receiver that I played with here at SMU that went in the sixth who should gone higher as well. So, a lot of teams got steals. I was just super excited for them and seeing them get drafted was awesome.”

Q: This past year with SMU, you had a sensational year. You were named First Team All-American Athletic Conference. What did that mean to you?

A: “For me, just through my process of college football, it was good just to get back and playing. I had a lot of fun last year with the guys that I played with. It was a fun year and it was exciting. I wish we would’ve done better. But, with the way that we played and everything we did together it was a fun year.”

Q: What is it like playing for head coach Sonny Dykes?

A: “Coach Dykes is a great coach. He’s even a better person which I really appreciate. He’s great with the x’s and o’s, he knows how to coach football, and all that kind of stuff with this family. But I think the biggest thing with him is that he’s a really good person and teaches us the little things about life as well. I can really appreciate that and just being around him everyday has been really really cool.”

Q: Following the 2018 season, you transferred from Texas to SMU. How was that beneficial for you?

A: “Going through that process was like going through the whole recruiting process again. It’s like a more mature recruiting process from high school. You don’t necessarily have to visit all the schools and put on all the jerseys. For me, it was just recognizing the fit, recognizing the coaching staff, and recognizing that I’ll be able to go in and compete. So, for me, it was a lot more maturer than the recruiting process in high school. I never thought that I would be transferring, but I did it and it ended up working out. I am really happy with my choice to go to SMU. And like I said, it was really fun last year being able to play with those guys. I’m excited to play one more year with them.”

Q: In your freshman year at Texas, you won the QB job and was the starting QB for the Longhorns. How did playing such a huge role early in your career help you as a player?

A: “The benefit from that is just learning, learning the ropes, and how to play college football at a young age. I was able to play against Notre Dame on Sunday on national television and that was my first game ever. So, I learned quick and had to learn quick as well being at a school like Texas playing that kind of ball. I went in wanting to play the game and wanting to start as quick as possible. I was excited to go in and compete for the job. It just taught me how to put my head down to work, try to compete, and go to work.”

Q: Heading into your senior season, do you think this could the year the SMU wins the American Athletic Championship?

A: “Yeah I think so. Depending on all the stuff that goes on in the United States with the coronavirus and all that. I am hopeful that we get back to playing football and we have a really good team coming back this year. I am really excited to get back to playing and we’ve been working really hard at keeping in touch with the guys. They’re working hard and we have our goals for the season. Winning the American Athletic Conference is definitely one of them. If everybody comes together to meet those goals, I think we have a chance to make those goals come true.”

Q: What has been your favorite moment of your college career?

A: “There’s been a couple that I’d say. Definitely that game against Notre Dame my freshman year. That was just my first college game ever and the atmosphere was unbelievable. This last season playing at TCU. The TCU game was one of my favorite games because not only was it an opportunity to play a great team at there home field but it was the first time I beat TCU being a starter. It was a great game and it took all 4 quarters to get the win.”

Q: Are there any current or former players that you model your game after?

A: “I think there’s guys I love watching in film and learning after. I think drew brees is one of those guys. I’m a shorter guy and I think the way he carries himself is impressive. I like watching Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers because they have extreme arm talent and they understand situations well. So, I try to learn different things from their game to help mine.”