When the two arrived in Huntington, Cato vaulted into the starting lineup as a true freshman in 2011, throwing 2,059 yards and 15 touchdowns.
As a backup receiver, Shuler played in 10 games, catching 14 passes for 122 yards. But even in the limited times they were on the field together, Shuler said their connection remained solid, not needing to say a word to get their messages heard.
"The gestures and head nods started coming along in high school," Shuler said. "Second or third down, we'd need a play.
He'd look my way. He'd give me a check and I'd give him a head nod. I know where he's going to be and he knows where I'm going to be."
In fact, Cato said coaches are stunned when their signals get crossed.
"The other day, he did a flat route and our timing was off," Cato said. "The whole coaching staff was shocked. They'd never seen it before."
The duo's relationship hasn't only helped on the field. In knowing each other since grade school, Cato and Shuler have a confidant on the team to talk about goals, frustrations and life. Cato's freshman year wasn't entirely smooth. He lost the starting job to A.J. Graham in the middle of the 2011 season before regaining it following a Graham injury. But having Shuler there helped Cato through tough times. "We talk about everything," Cato said. "We already talk about football. We talk about what we have to do for our families, how we need to make it and things like that. Whenever I'm down, I'll talk to him and he'll lift me up. He's a great friend."
With Cato firmly entrenched at the starting quarterback and Shuler climbing up the depth chart - he's No. 2 behind Andre Snipes-Booker at the slot receiver - the two will have plenty of opportunities this season to find each other on the field. And when they do, Shuler said it will be like second nature.
"He knows if he throws a bad ball, I'll lay out for it," Shuler said. "He knows he can put the ball anywhere and I can get it.
He knows where to put the ball and, nine times out of 10, the ball will be there. I'll cut and the ball will be there. That's chemistry you can't break."