Longhorns QB Shane Buechele to explore transfer

Texas quarterback Shane Buechele, who started 19 games for the Longhorns before losing the job to Sam Ehlinger this past season, has informed UT coaches that he wants to explore leaving for another school as a graduate transfer.

Texas has confirmed Buechele is in the NCAA transfer portal.

Buechele is scheduled to graduate from Texas in May and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Sources told ESPN that SMU is a potential landing spot for Buechele, after the Mustangs lost all-time leading passer Ben Hicks, who announced earlier this week that he's leaving for Arkansas as a graduate transfer.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cameron Rising also will transfer, to Utah, the Longhorns confirmed on Thursday.

The Longhorns will still enter the 2019 season with three scholarship quarterbacks. Ehlinger, who was named MVP of Texas' 28-21 victory over Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, is entrenched as the team's starter, followed by redshirt freshman Casey Thompson and true freshman Roschon Johnson, who enrolled earlier this month.

Thompson also explored transferring, but he has informed Texas coaches that he intends to remain with the Longhorns. He is the son of former Oklahoma star quarterback Charles Thompson.

In 2016, Buechele became the first Texas true freshman since Bobby Layne in 1944 to start at quarterback in the season opener, and he's the only true freshman quarterback in school history to start the first two games of his career. Buechele started every game for the Longhorns in 2016, throwing for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Buechele opened the 2017 season as UT's starter but suffered shoulder and ankle injuries early in the season, which allowed Ehlinger to earn playing time. After Ehlinger suffered a concussion, the Longhorns rotated quarterbacks throughout that season. In January 2018, Buechele had surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle.

Buechele played in only two games this past season, throwing for 184 yards with one touchdown in a 23-17 win over Baylor and going 10-for-10 for 89 yards with one score in a 24-10 victory over Iowa State. Because Buechele played in only two games in 2018, he is eligible for a redshirt season, which would leave him with two years of eligibility.