'This is me': Why Texas transfer Brenen Thompson feels at home with OU football WR group

NORMAN — Coming out of high school, Brenen Thompson thought he wanted the big-city life.
The idea of living in a thriving community with plenty to do excited the four-star wide receiver from Spearman, a town in north Texas with a population of about 3,100 people.
Thompson got his wish in 2021 when he committed to Texas. But after getting his big-city experience in Austin for one year, the small-town kid came to a realization.
"Austin was big and bright," Thompson said. "But to me, I felt like I just wasn't truly myself."
So Thompson entered the transfer portal on April 15 in search of a better fit. And after being pursued by numerous programs, he committed to OU on April 24.
Thompson's Red River flip came as a surprise to many. The sophomore is believed to only be the second player in the modern era to play for both Texas and OU. Paul Moriarty, an offensive lineman in the late 1980s/early 1990s, is the other.
But for Thompson, a blue-collar outdoorsman, it's a move that feels right.
"I thought I wanted the big city," Thompson said. "But coming here, settling down and getting back to my roots has been amazing. ... I've been able to fish and hunt more than I have the whole past year in Austin. ... This is me."
More:Brent Venables wants OU football team to make plays on offense, 'not just the layups'
Thompson knew he would face backlash for crossing enemy lines.
That's what happened to Trace Ford. The redshirt senior defensive lineman became Public Enemy No. 1 in Stillwater when he transferred from OSU to OU on Dec. 28.
Sure enough, Thompson faced the same treatment from disgruntled Texas fans once he announced the move on Twitter.
"I could have and would have supported him any place but there," one Twitter user said.
"Career-ruining decision," another user said.
Thompson saw it all, but he did receive some support along the way.
He maintained a good relationship with plenty of his former teammates at Texas, who understood the reasoning behind his decision.
"I have nothing but respect for my old teammates, and they felt the same way about me," Thompson said. "While I was there, I worked as hard as I could. They know that. ... I think they truly get this as well. This is just who I am. This is just my roots."
Thompson figures to have more opportunities than he did at Texas, where he recorded just one catch for 32 yards in nine appearances last season.
The Sooners are in need of playmaking receivers following the departure of Marvin Mims, who got selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round (No. 63 overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft, and Thompson can help.
Thompson is a speedster who also ran track at Texas. He set the Texas 3A state record in the 100-meter dash (10.40 seconds) during his time at Spearman High.
Thompson's speed caught the attention of OU head coach Brent Venables, who made it a mission to build a faster offense this offseason.
"He’s fast, incredibly explosive and really competitive," Venables said of Thompson. "I don’t think our speed was great a year ago, and we need it to compete at the highest level. ... But he’s a guy that jumps in there and makes you faster immediately."
Thompson is a perfect fit for OU's up-tempo offense. But most importantly, OU is the perfect fit for him.
Despite moving away from his home state of Texas, Norman is only about four hours from Spearman. Austin is about eight hours away.
Thompson has also found some good fishing spots, and he has even taken a few of his new teammates to them. He says fellow wide receiver Andrel Anthony has caught the biggest fish so far.
Thompson has already immersed himself in OU's blue-collar culture. And when the latest chapter of the Red River Rivalry unfolds on Oct. 7 in Dallas, there won't be any doubt where his allegiance lies.
"For me, it's another game," Thompson said. "I don't think one way or another about it. For me, it's just another game that we've got to win."

Latest Player Notes

If that really was Drake Maye’s last game in Chapel Hill, it provided a fitting full-circle ending

UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2023 2:49 PMHere was Drake Maye in the middle of it all late Saturday night, in the middle of the kind ...

Shedeur Sanders closing in on CU Buffs single-season records through pain of all the sacks and hits

PUBLISHED November 13, 2023 at 12:38 p.m. | UPDATED: November 13, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.BOULDER — Shedeur Sanders is closing ...

Tenth Anniversary of Kick Six: Inside video, "Official" look at Historic Iron Bowl Shocker

Published Nov. 13, 2023, 6:00 a.m.By Creg Stephenson See and hear history behind Kick Six (excuse the ads, but this is ...

Goodman: Jimbo Fisher is out and Nick Saban wins again

Updated: Nov. 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.|By Joseph GoodmanJimbo Fisher is out at Texas A&M, which goes to show that even when a ...

Huard on Huskies: Why a win over No. 10 Oregon St would be huge

The No. 5 UW Huskies’ quest to make the College Football Playoff went through the two-time defending Pac-12 champions on ...

USC’s loss to Oregon exposes clear flaws in program-building up front

EUGENE, Ore. — In January, Lincoln Riley was on the sidelines at SoFi for the College Football Playoff championship game, ...

Two years after winning school-record 12 games, Brady Hoke out as Aztecs football coach

Brady Hoke is out as San Diego State’s football coach.SDSU released a statement Monday morning saying that Hoke is retiring, ...

Oregon’s Bo Nix named Pac-12 offensive player of the week for third time in 2023

Oregon’s Bo Nix earned his third weekly honor from the Pac-12.Nix, who went 23 of 31 for a season-high 412 yards with four ...

Oregon Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning mentioned as a leading candidate for Texas A&M job

Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning has been mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Jimbo Fisher as coach of the Texas ...

After ‘tough day,’ Boise State AD searches for a football coach; defensive analyst promoted

Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey was on the job for less than a week the last time he began a search for a football ...
See More Player Notes