Walk ons: Huskers’ Edge

Just wanted to share this little find for the afternoon. Thought you may enjoy this three minute video about Nebraska’s unique history of effectively utilizing walk-ons.


7 Responses to Walk ons: Huskers’ Edge

  1. GAWolf 08/26/2009 at 3:35 PM #

    That’s awesome. When I wrote the entry that discussed Fowler’s belief that he’s of Tom Osbourn-status, I read an article about Osbourn’s focus on introducing a legitimate program to take advantage of walk-on talent. It was part of his job as an assistant at NU: “Devaney put Osborne in charge of the offense that won two national titles and allowed him to concentrate on three areas he thought were important – a strong academic program for student-athletes, a strength and conditioning program and a more formalized program to attract walk-on players.”

    I often wondered why Amato and staff never made an effort to raid the midwest and prairies for offensive line talent. There are clearly guys out there who could (have) start(ed) for us that are (were)overlooked. I think it’s great.

    I sat in the stands at an NC State walk-on tryout when I first got to Raleigh and heard the following line before we ever took the field: “You’re (#) guys trying out for no spots on my team. Let’s get this over with.” I thought: “Thanks for the vote of confidence, coach.” Interestingly enough, of that group four of us were allowed to work out further with the team. The only ones who saw any playing time whatsoever did so after transferring to… CAROLINA. One of those guys wound up contributing quite a bit.

    To point out one thing about Nebraska: I went out there on vacation recently. That whole state revolves around the Cornhuskers. The closest competition is Creighton in Omaha, I would guess. It’s true that Nebraska is extremely rural and the population is extremely small and very dispersed, but every kid in the state grows up wanting to play sports at UN. I can’t think of another state that has ZERO competition like that. Kansas, Iowa… both have at least two major colleges. Maybe Montana? Maybe Wyoming? Those kids grow up pursuing other sports such as skiing, too. Nebraska has nothing but Cornhusker football.

  2. ruffles31 08/26/2009 at 4:14 PM #

    My wife and I decided a few years ago to go to at least one road game per year. We have a list of about 40-50 stadiums we want to visit. In 2006, the Pack had a crappy road schedule. Therefore, we started looking to go to a random game. After deciding to go to a game west of the Mississippi, we narrowed it down to Texas Tech at Texas A&M and Kansas at Nebraska. We chose to go to Nebraska.

    It was a great trip. At the time, Beck had just transferred to Raleigh and people came up to us (as we were wearing State attire) and were telling us how lucky we were to get him and how good he is going to do for us. But the people were very friendly and we had nothing but great memories. There was the party bus. This “bus” was a converted school bus that was painted Nebraska red. At halfway back on the bus, the covering was cut out so that the first half of the bus looked like a school bus and the other half looked like a pickup truck. They had a couple of grills, couches, and kegs. It was amazing. And anyone was welcome on the party bus. The pregame tailgating was great and everywhere. There was a huge “Fanzone”. It was the entire track next to the stadium. People could eat and drink. Kids could play several types of games, like the inflatable obstacle courses, football type games, etc. They also had a huge projection screen showing a Big 12 game that was on at the time.

    As far as the game, the ENTIRE crowd was in their seat 30 minutes before the game. Even students and well heeled alumni. When the Huskers scored their first touchdown, every student and about 10% of the other fans released a balloon. Pretty cool. And on top of that, the game was the first OT game ever there.

    I would highly recommend going to a game there. Nebraska, where college football is the ONLY sport.

  3. packpowerfan 08/26/2009 at 6:51 PM #

    I had some friends from UN-L come to visit here, and the first we did was visit Carter-Finley. We walked through the Murphy Center, got to look down on the field, etc. They were pleased, though obviously not impressed. I said “I know it isn’t big, but we make it loud.” One of them, Reid, replied to me “Loud? Let me put it this way, Nebraska has a home game, and Cornhusker Stadium becomes the third largest town in the state.”

  4. JB34 08/26/2009 at 9:14 PM #

    I’ve been to Omaha many times. The folks in that state deserve a good football team to support. God Bless them, as they don’t have anything else.

  5. haze 08/27/2009 at 7:27 AM #

    Wisconsin has a similar intra-state no-compete clause.

    U-Dub is the only football game in the state and it’s a football crazy state (see Packers, Green Bay). Not surprisingly, Camp Randall and the associated streets-o-Madison tailgating are both outstanding. Football quality? Not quite to Nebraska standards but still pretty good. Plus side is the student body and the 5th quarter… party atmosphere, to say the least.

  6. Noah 08/27/2009 at 8:24 AM #

    Sheridan had a lot of luck with walk-ons. Plenty of good kickers and punters…plus I recall a number of guys like Walt Gerard and Dallas Dickerson and Bobby Jurgens contributing some key moments.

  7. GAWolf 08/27/2009 at 11:17 AM #

    But didn’t Sheridan refuse to give a kicker or punter a scholarship out of high school? I recall hearing that, though I’ve never heard it absolutely confirmed. Was Mike Cofer a walk-on???

    Rosenblatt is AWESOME! It’s a shame they’re tearing it down to build a new one in downtown Omaha, though downtown Omaha is pretty neat as well.

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