In addition to N.C. State, a school Schaeffer says recruited him out of Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High, Wisconsin was also in the running to land the services of the California community college offensive player of the year.
"That was a big part of the decision, going back and playing in the SEC," said Brent Schaeffer, the state's offensive player of the year after accounting for more than 3,700 yards and 50 touchdowns for Sequoias. "I enjoyed playing in the SEC. I enjoyed the atmosphere every Saturday. Each SEC game is real intense."
Schaeffer landed at the Visalia community college after a star-crossed 2004 season at Tennessee, where he because the first true freshman to start the opener for an SEC school in 59 years before losing his job and later breaking his collarbone.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder left-hander said his final decision came down to Mississippi and North Carolina State. The presence of sophomore quarterback Marcus Stone - who led the Wolfpack to wins in five of their last six games after taking over as the starter - factored against N.C. State.
"I liked [the Wolfpack] coming out of high school, before Tennessee," Schaeffer said. "But they have a quarterback coming back and that was a big factor."
Ole Miss' addition of offensive coordinator Dan Werner, who has been credited with helping develop future NFL quarterbacks Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson and Ken Dorsey while at Miami - weighed heavily in the Rebels' favor.
"I felt comfortable with the coaches at Ole Miss," who joins a team that went 3-8 last season. "They presented their program to me, and I felt like that was a place on the rise with coach [Ed] Orgeron, a new staff, the people he's bringing in and the things he's trying to do. He sold me on that."
So did the fact that the Rebels don't have an entrenched starter at quarterback. Ethan Flatt and Robert Lane, neither of whom threw more touchdowns that interceptions last season, are the Rebels' top returning quarterbacks.
Schaeffer said he has not been promised a starting job. But the coach Schaeffer is leaving behind said he knows who the starter should be.
"I see him going in there and turning that team around right now," first-year Sequoias coach Curtis Allen said. "He's a player who could help any program right away. His star will shine as bright as he wants it to shine."