Shane Buechele looked great at the start of his 2016 freshman season. But, injuries and the Freshman Wall seemed to slow him down in the second half.
Also, opposing defenses started to figure out Texas’ offense led by OC Sterling Gilbert. Well, they figured out the passing game since no one slowed D’Onta Foreman’s rushing attack.
Buechele played his worst in the last two games at Kansas and home against TCU, sealing Charlie Strong’s fate. The combination of taking a lot of hits, hitting the wall, and throwing a lot of passes seemed to catch up to Shane.
Now, Buechele enters the off-season with a new head coach, new offensive coordinator, and a new style of offense. Sam Ehlinger also has a new HC, OC, and offense.
Buechele is expected to be the starter when the season kicks off in September. But, Ehlinger is essentially on even ground with Buechele because of the coaching change and enrolling early.
Texas fans want to see how Buechele does in Tom Herman’s new offense under OC Tim Beck. At times in 2016, Buechele looked like the next great Texas QB. But, the passing game became very predictable by the end of the season.
Too often, Buechele was asked to simply turn to the right or left, sling the football to a WR, and hope someone made a block on the outside. The vertical passing game was non-existent at times, allowing defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage.
Fans want to see Buechele throw more deep balls down the middle instead of relying on the sidelines to get WRs in space. But, if Buechele is unable to adjust, the door is open for Ehlinger to compete for the starting spot.
Will RB Toneil Carter Be a Freshman Difference-Maker?
Concerning the running backs, Toneil Carter will be a huge part of Texas Football. It’s just a matter of when.
Carter’s performance during the off-season will likely decide whether he redshirts in 2017 or competes for time in the RB rotation.
We assume that Chris Warren will take the #1 spot after D’Onta Foreman exited. Then, there are excellent RBs Kyle Porter and Kirk Johnson waiting their turn. If Carter moves up the depth chart in the summer, then he might be a big factor in his freshman season.
It’s the same situation at the QB spot. Tom Herman and his coaching staff are approaching this roster with fresh eyes without loyalty to last year’s squad. If they believe Ehlinger is equal to Buechele, then Sam might push Shane for the starting spot.
Same with Toneil Carter. If they believe Carter is immediately equal to Warren and the rest of the crew, then Toneil might push the sophomores and juniors for playing time.
Toneil Carter’s Tape is Terrific for Texas Football
It’s way too early to make predictions on who will start key positions in 2017, but Carter looks like a difference-maker right away.
Carter is strong, shifty, explosive, and has breakaway speed. He won’t be able to elude most college defenders running sideline to sideline, so he will have to adjust his game at the next level. But, Carter looks and feels like another great Texas RB.
Chris Warren is expected to carry the load in 2017, but questions about his durability are hanging over him. Warren missed three-quarters of the 2016 season with a knee injury, opening the door for Foreman to have a monster season.
If Warren cannot avoid the injury bug, the RB race will be wide-open. Carter figures to get in the mix with Kyle Porter and Kirk Johnson. Will Sam Ehlinger join him in the backfield, or will Shane Buechele hand off to Carter in 2017?