A short stay in Tucson ended a little more than a week ago for Brenden Schooler, who is now headed to Austin as the newest addition to the Texas Longhorns roster, according to a report from Horns247.
A 6’2, 193-pounder from California, Schooler left Oregon last fall as a graduate transfer, eventually landing at Arizona. However, after the Pac-12 canceled the fall football season, Schooler decided to re-enter the NCAA transfer portal in an effort to find a program he could play at this fall.
Schooler becomes the second graduate transfer wide receiver to commit to Texas this offseason, joining Michigan’s Tarik Black, the prospective starter at X receiver in the midst of a strong preseason camp.
Ranked as a low three-star prospect out of high school, Schooler was an interesting take for Oregon in the 2016 class — he played safety at Mission Viejo, didn’t report any other offers, and wasn’t among the top 200 players in the state, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Schooler quickly made an impact with the Ducks, however, starting 10 games at safety as a freshman and finishing third on the team with 74 tackles and a team-high four interceptions.
As a sophomore, Schooler moved to wide receiver and adjusted quickly enough to make three starts and catch 20 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also emerged as a special teams standout, making seven tackles and earning first-team All-Conference honors from the Pac-12’s coaches in that phase.
In 2018, Schooler served as the team captain in two games, starting 10 overall and recording 21 receptions for 203 yards and one touchdown. On special teams, his stellar efforts continued, as he matched his 2017 total of seven tackles. Pac-12 coaches once again recognized him as a first-team All-Conference special teams performer.
Unfortunately for Schooler, a foot injury during preseason camp in 2019 limited him to two games that season. Even beyond Schooler’s contributions as a wide receiver and on special teams, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal made clear at the time that Schooler’s contributions were exceptional off the field, too.
“The thing about Brenden is he’s not only a great player, he’s a great leader and feel terrible for him because he’s a tremendous human being,” Cristobal said. “Off the charts. Means a lot to the guys out there and knowing him he’s probably trying to squat and run today but he will try and get back as fast as he can and he will because he’s that type of guy.”
Texas has plenty of talent at wide receiver — there are 10 healthy scholarship players there — but there isn’t much experience. Combined with the recent loss of freshman Troy Omeire, the breakout player in preseason camp, the Longhorns evidently still had a need at the position.
What does that say about players like junior Brennan Eagles and redshirt sophomore Josh Moore, both of whom are expected to take the next step this season? Head coach Tom Herman and wide receivers coach Andre Coleman certainly want them to have some more competition, judging by this move.
Even if Schooler doesn’t end up receiving many reps for Texas at wide receiver, he’ll push those younger players and should be an instant starter on special teams who can provide significant contributions in that phase.
And that’s the factor that likely made Schooler’s addition an easy decision for the Longhorns coaching staff.