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Texas high school quarterback says he will sign with Hawaii

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A 3-star quarterback from a top high school program in the Lone Star State has accepted a 2021 scholarship from the University of Hawaii football team.

Brayden Schager of Highland Park High in Dallas said he notified the UH coaches he will sign a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 16, the first day of the early-signing period for 2021 football prospects. Schager said it was a family-based decision following several video chats with UH head coach Todd Graham and offensive coordinator G.J. Kinne.

Schager said Highland Park and UH share similar offensive concepts. The Scots run a spread offense out of mostly four-wide formations.

“That definitely was a big decision maker for me, as well,” Schager said. “Their offense is very similar to ours. They’re going to throw the ball around a lot, just like we do at HP. It was very important to me. I love to throw the ball around, just like any quarterback would.”

Led by quarterbacks John Stephen Jones (now with Arkansas, and the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) and Chandler Morris (now with Oklahoma), Highland Park won three of the past four Texas state 5-A championships. Schager was named this year’s starting quarterback and team captain. Scouting service 247Sports listed Schager as the 61st best pro-style quarterback in the country.

“He has a beautiful release,” Highland Park head coach Randy Allen said. “He throws with a lot of velocity, and he’s very accurate. He’s got leadership qualities. He was elected captain. He ran track, even though he didn’t enter meets, because he wanted to improve his speed. He showed up at 6 a.m. for three months to do powerlifting before school.”

This summer, with temperatures peaking in the high 90s, Schager arrived early and stayed late to every two-hour afternoon workout.

“He’s been throwing the ball with his receivers on his own,” Allen said. “It shows the leadership, motivation and work ethic he has.”

Schager said he perfected his throwing motion through sessions with Babe Laufenberg, a former NFL quarterback who is now color analyst on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, and Laufenberg’s son, Joe Willie, who runs a developmental program for quarterbacks.

From seventh grade through the middle of his sophomore year when he was promoted to the varsity, Schager was the starting quarterback for intermediate and junior varsity teams that did not lose a game. The past three years, Schager also was the starting quarterback for Team Grind, a Dallas-area squad that competes nationally in 7-on-7 tournaments. This past February, Team Grind won the prestigious Pylon 7on7 National Tournament, besting a field of more than 100 teams. Teammates referred to Schager as “Brady,” after Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

For Schager, who drew interest from about 18 colleges, picking teams is not unique. When he was 10, he was one victory short of winning ESPN’s NCAA Tournament Challenge. Entering the title game, Schager had the top bracket for the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. There with 8.15 million entries. All Schager needed was for Michigan to defeat Louisville in the championship game. Schager had correctly picked 12 of the Sweet 16 teams, seven of the Elite 8, all of the Final Four, and the title-game participants. But Michigan lost, and Schager settled for finishing in the top 1%.

“It was super cool,” Schager said. Of his predictions, Schager said, “I watched some teams. My 10-year-old mind thought they were good. I had Wichita State in the Final Four.”

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