Walk-Ons Rewarded

Every off season, the Nebraska football program brings in highly ranked recruits from all across the country. These highly touted athletes come in to the football program, and are awarded scholarships to the university.

However, many other players are offered the chanceof a lifetime by the Huskers.  They're given the chance to join the Nebraska football program.  These individuals fight just as hard in practice and go through everything that their scholarship counterparts go through, but they have to pay for their own tuition and fight harder for playing time. 

Each season, the Nebraska coaching staff chooses to award numerous walk-on's with a scholarship.  This season, Nebraska awarded scholarships to six walk-ons, who all happen to be natives of Nebraska (WR Wes Cammack, LB Colton Koehler, OG Derek Meyer, Kicker Alex Henery, TE Dreu Young, and C Mike Caputo). 

Each of these players has come from different circumstances to Nebraska.  Senior offensive guard Derek Meyer is no exception.  Meyer played under scholarship at Kansas State before deciding to walk-on at his home state's university.  For Meyer, it was a no-brainer.  "When I came here, I knew it wasn't going to be a guarantee."

Caputo is the only sophomore walk-on
to receive a scholarship this
year.
  said Meyer of his scholarship.  "I knew I'd be taking a risk and maybe not getting one (scholarship) at all."  Meyer took a chance coming to Nebraska.  He left behind the opportunity for playing time and playing under a scholarship, because he wanted to be a Nebraska Cornhusker, even if it meant he wasn't guaranteed any playing time or a scholarship.  "I really wanted to play here and the scholarship wasn't the top priority at all.  It was just wanting to come here and play for my home state and be a part of this program."

While Derek Meyer has had a longer road to earning his scholarship at Nebraska, Junior TE Dreu Young has worked his way from a freshman walk-on down on the depth chart to a scholarship athlete receiving considerable playing time.  However, nothing is different now that the Cozad, Nebraska native has a scholarship "Practicing isn't any different.  From the time you get here, the coaches always have treated me like I'm on scholarship." said Young of his scholarship.  "I felt like I've been treated the same since day one.  I've been given a fair shot." 

Earning a walk-on spot with the Huskers was the first hard task for these players.  After that, it takes years of hard work and dedication to earn a scholarship.  The scholarship is the definitive reward for these players hard work, however, the hard work and commitment to the team is much appreciated.  "I'm really happy for everyone."  said Mike Caputo, who was also awarded a scholarship.  "It's a big honor and I'm ecstatic for myself as well as for them." 

Now that these six players have been honored with a scholarship, it's time to get back to work and work hard like a walk-on again.  "The goals haven't changed."  said Mike Caputo.  "Just try to keep working hard and get better every day."

 

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