Schroeder answers opportunity's call

Sophomore WR Chad Schroeder talks about playing hard, transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver, growing up as the son of a football coach, and making the most of his opportunities.

Sophomore WR Chad Schroeder spoke to the media during the football team's Tuesday press conference at the Bright Football Complex.


Chad, why do you think your role on this football team seemed to become greater this past couple of weeks?

Chad Schroeder: "It's a week-to-week thing. You practice every week and all season to get ready for your opportunities. And when your opportunities come, you don't want to let them pass. You try to make the best of it."

You don't have any theory on why those opportunities came?

"I'm not sure why. I feel like I'm just one of those people who's always playing hard. If something comes my way, I just want to be able to play."

Chad, you're one of several former quarterbacks playing receiver on this team. Is there any particular reason why these guys seem to do so well at receiver who were quarterbacks in high school, or even in college in Jason's [Carter] case?

"I heard a theory one time that a lot of the good athletes play quarterback in high school. I think people who play quarterback know a lot about the game and a lot about different offenses and getting open. So maybe that helps in making the adjustment.

Y'all also seem to have a lot of good athletes on special teams…how much has that helped you to do what you do, to have that element of surprise—the fakes, the trickery, the things like that—how much fun does it make it to be able to do that?

"It's exciting. Any time you run a fake I feel like it's real exciting for the fans and for us, especially when it's successful. So for them to have given me the opportunity to go out there and do that—I just wanted to make the best of it."

What does that say about Coach Fran [Franchione] that he does things like that and is willing to do what it takes in that situation?

"I think it's a very good thing, because the coaching staff really looks at every aspect of the game, special teams being real important and seeing where they can get an edge on a team and run a fake."

Would your high school coach [former Austin Westlake head coach and Chad's father, Ron Schroeder] have been the type to take chances like that?

"He's been known to do it a few times."

Can you think of any reason why opposing defensive backs might underestimate your speed?

[Laughs] "I don't know. There's some rumors out there. I don't know why they'd underestimate me. Could be the long hair. But if they do underestimate me, I feel like that's in my advantage."

What is your speed?

"I've been clocked at 4.3."

Are you the fastest guy on the team?

"Pretty close."

Did your dad help you at all in changing from quarterback to wide receiver? Obviously having a coach as a dad…talk a little about that…did it help you in the transition?

"Definitely. But growing up, he always taught me that just being a team player was the most important thing, and to understand what's best for the team. So I've grown up with that mentality."

Who's the toughest critic when the game's over, your position coach or your dad?

"Oh, man. My dad's always proud of me. He's my father now. When he was my coach [laughs], that could be a little different. But now he's always proud of me."

When you were younger and going through middle school, were you a Texas fan growing up in Austin?

"It was the team I went and watched, definitely. But we weren't a real hard core family. I've got some family members that are big UT fans, but…I enjoyed watching them growing up. I enjoy college football."

What's interesting to me though is that there are three kids from Austin who last week all had pretty good roles. I just scanned real quickly the Texas two-deep before I came up here today. They don't have anyone from Austin who's really doing much. Is that funny to you at all?

"That's just…You give that to the A&M coaches for recruiting the players out of Austin."

It would seem to me that every kid growing up in Austin, if they play college football, they'd want to play for the, well, it would seem…I don't know…it would seem that way. I don't know what's going on. Do you three Austin guys ever get together and say, "How'd we end up here?"

"It's interesting. I'm friends with Ty [Branyon] and Joey [Thomas]. Ty actually went to one of my rival high schools, Bowie. So it's been really fun to develop a relationship with him."

When you were being recruiting out of high school did you know for sure you were going to play receiver, or was there some question of where you were going to end up position-wise in college?

"I knew coming in to A&M—R.C. Slocum told me, he said, ‘You're going to come here and play receiver.'"

Your junior year when y'all went to the state championship, you played receiver that year. Were you more comfortable playing receiver, or did you prefer quarterback?

"Well in high school I felt like the best way I could lead my team was at quarterback. But when I was able to come in the game at receiver my junior year and make some plays, that is what made the transition for me from quarterback to receiver at the college level a lot easier, because I felt like I could make that transition."

Your senior year in high school you and Reggie [McNeal] had that classic state title game, where you both were running all over the field. Is it kind of surreal now, catching passes from him?

"It's fun. It's always a ‘if you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em' type deal. I really enjoy it. So developing friendships with these guys I played in high school—Courtney Lewis and Reggie, and just going down the line of different guys—it's real exciting."
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