Brenden Schooler is ready to take on the challenges of a new position
Head coach Willie Taggart asked sophomore Brenden Schooler to transition from defensive back to wide receiver during last week’s practice.
“Alright, bring on the challenge.”
Schooler finished last season as third on the team in tackles with 74 total tackles, which ranked in the top-10 in the nation for freshmen. He also led the Ducks with four interceptions.
So why would Taggart want Schooler to move to offense?
Oregon’s head coach wanted to see what Schooler was capable of on the offensive side, so during practice Taggart let him run a route the day before making the transition.
The next day Schooler walked into practice with a white jersey, confirming his new position. With a young team of wide receivers, Schooler will add strength to the group, and his previous experience at the position will be beneficial for the Ducks.
“Looking for a receiver, he has some size,” Taggart said. “He has great ball skills and can run all day. Now it’s just mastering the position and understanding the plays, but I think he’ll do a really good job.”
His speed, size, and agility are definite advantages to what Oregon’s wide receivers need to advance in the early season.
“We felt like putting Schooler over there will help the team,” Taggart said. “I’m excited to see him continue to grow in that position and see how the Herbert – Schooler combination will help us.”
Schooler spent three years as a wide receiver during his time at Mission Viejo High School in California, which means the transition will be easy to adjust to.
“I’m really excited to play receiver this year.” he said. “I thought my first day went pretty well. I was getting help with the routes, but I’m starting to pick up on it pretty quickly.”
As an athlete in both football and track in high school, Schooler earned first-team California Large School all-state, first-team all-Orange County, as well as being named the CIF Southern Section West Valley Defensive MVP. As an athlete in both football and track he can use his speed to continually progress at the collegiate level.
“He is super athletic and really good at both sides,” quarterback Justin Herbert said. “I’m glad to have him on our side of the ball.”
Now that the Ducks are looking to keep Schooler on the offensive side, he sees his understanding of defensive strategy as an advantage. Playing against the guys he worked with last year is something Schooler sees as a benefit.
“They are only going to make me better, and I want to make them better,” he said. “I’m going to give it all I got and they are going to do the same thing for me.”
Follow Daphne Martin on Twitter @daaphnemartin
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