The Texas Longhorns welcomed two experienced additions to the offense when running back Gabriel Watson and wide receiver Brenden Schooler were added as graduate transfers.
It had been previously reported that the two newcomers would be joining the team this fall, but Texas had not officially made the announcement, although a Texas spokesperson did confirm to Horns Illustrated last week that Watson would be joining the team.
Head coach Tom Herman told the media during his weekly press conference Monday that these veteran newcomers "will add a lot of value to their respective rooms" and that "in a year like this, you can never have too much depth."
Watson previously competed at the JUCO, Div. III and Div. II levels before coming to Texas from the University of Sioux Falls. He missed much of the 2019 campaign due to a foot injury after leading all Div. II running backs in rushing touchdowns in 2018 with 26. Herman said that Watson will add a different kind of skill set to a running backs unit that is currently comprised of returning starter Keaontay Ingram, converted quarterback Roschon Johnson and freshman Bijan Robinson. UT's depth chart for Saturday's season opener against UTEP does not include Watson, although Herman will likely try to get as many different backs into the game as possible.
Schooler comes to the Forty Acres by way of Oregon, where he spent three years as a wide receiver with the Ducks. While there he primarily contributed on special teams, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2019. He originally was set to play alongside his brother, Collin, at Arizona this year, but the Pac-12's cancellation of the season caused him to look elsewhere for opportunities. Herman said that Schooler has been taking reps with the second-team offense.
Watson and Schooler become the second and third graduate transfers to join the Texas offense this senior. Former Michigan receiver Tarik Black announced in April his decision to transfer to UT. Black, who started at least one game for the Wolverines in each of the past three seasons, is slotted to start Saturday's game.