Yeager was offered a preferred walk-on spot at Texas.
However, the Longhorns also gained a commitment from Magnolia long snapper Justin Mader back in February. The 6’0, 215-pounder was an Under Armour All-American this year and ranked as the nation’s No. 2 long snapper, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Although Mader is arguably more talented, he’s also three inches shorter and 45 pounds lighter than Yeager, who is a more prototypical long snapper for field goals.
That size can matter at times — the current long snapper on punts, and perhaps field goals this season, Jak Holbrook, is listed at 5’11 and 210 pounds and struggled in 2016 to handle bigger pass rushers on field-goal attempts.
As a result, head coach Tom Herman added Oklahoma State graduate transfer Kaleb Smith last season to solve the problems. With the 6’3, 275-pounder handling field goal snaps, the Longhorns improved in protection, though place kicker Joshua Rowland certainly struggled at times with the height and accuracy of his kicks.
Texas does have another option this season on field goals and extra points in 6’4, 220-pound sophomore Michael David Poujoul, who will compete against Holbrook and Mader for that role this fall.
So the loss of Yeager is hardly inconsequential since he has that prototypical build for field goals and extra points. Of course, Nate Boyer held both roles at Texas for three seasons as a 5’11, 195-pounder, indicating that with good protection from the guards, smaller long snappers can succeed despite lacking mass.
With Yeager headed to Houston instead of Texas, there’s now more pressure on Justin Mader to prove that he can eventually take other both roles if necessary. His lofty rankings and status as an Under Armour All-American provide some optimism.