After three seasons as a wide receiver at the University of South Carolina, K.J. Brent transferred to Wake Forest.
With the Gamecocks, Brent just wasn’t able to get much of an opportunity. He caught only 14 passes in three years. But in one season at Wake Forest, Brent caught 42 passes for 583 yards and a touchdown. He was the team’s second-leading receiver.
“I just wanted to explore my options to see if there was somewhere else I could go be a bigger part of and try to make a bigger impact,” he told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. “I had a great time there (at South Carolina), it just didn’t work out like I wanted it to. I made a choice to come here and it’s been a blessing. It really has. I don’t regret anything at all.”
Now Brent is taking another big leap as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is one of several undrafted free-agent receivers signed by the Raiders to compete for roster spots behind starters Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and primary backups Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes (who also came into the NFL as undrafted free agents). Aside from Brent, other undrafted wideouts signed by Oakland were Max McCaffrey, Jaydon Mickens and Johnny Holton.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said that bringing in players such as Brent and the other undrafted wideouts helps the team by adding “tough-minded people” who are “hungry” and “love football.”
Though Brent isn’t super fast or super strong, he has good height and already has shown good hands in organized team activities. He has a long battle ahead to make the roster, but he’s been one of the early undrafted free agent receivers to make a positive impression with coaches and teammates.
During OTAs this week, Brent made several fine catches in 11-on-11 drills, noted Eddie Paskal, a writer for the team’s website.
“The Wake Forest product is a willing pupil,” wrote Paskal. “Before the team hit the field Thursday, Brent spent some one-on-one time with wide receivers coach Rob Moore, working on footwork and route-running.”
Then, said Paskal, Brent used that footwork and his tall frame several times against defensive backs to haul in passes, including one in the end zone from quarterback Matt McGloin.
Wrote Paskal: “Don’t sleep on K.J. Brent. He’ll be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on as the offseason workout program progresses.”