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walk on scholarships

Postby JasonB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 pm

As predicted, part of the reason we have an awesome walk-on program is that there will be scholarships granted. Three were granted yesterday...

I expect us to continue to have a very strong walk on program and every year 3 scholarships or so will be given to folks in that program. With 25 scholarships available in a given year, I would anticipate 10-15 high school, 10 transfers (including JUCO), and 3-5 walk-ons.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby tristatecoog » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:39 pm

Any idea how many walk-ons join to yield three scholarship offers?
Preferred walk-ons, gray shirts, etc. I can imagine academic and athletically talented kids getting $20-$30k per year for academic scholarships and then playing football with the hopes of being a significant contributor and potentially getting a full ride in the future.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby JasonB » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:11 pm

we had 30 walk-ons this year I believe. I would expect one or two more to earn a scholarship this spring.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby PNW_Stang » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:16 pm

Who were the walk one that got scholarships? Positions?
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby RGV Pony » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:41 pm

PNW_Stang wrote:Who were the walk one that got scholarships? Positions?
https://twitter.com/SMU_Football/status/1218639963509661696?s=19
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby leopold » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:54 pm

So a RB, a DL, and a long snapper.

All things we need for next season.

Serious question: Is this a bad sign?
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby JasonB » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:28 pm

leopold wrote:So a RB, a DL, and a long snapper.

All things we need for next season.

Serious question: Is this a bad sign?


NO.

The walk-on program increases the total size of the roster and allows the defense to hit in practice from Spring training to fall camp and all the way through the season. A quality walk-on program is necessary to be able to run physical practices. Physical practices are necessary to be able to be a power running team and to have a good defense. The promise of physical practice is why we got Kane and the defensive staff to sign up in the first place.

The way you build a strong walk-on program is that you take those two star athletes who are about the same level of player we used to stretch for at the end of a recruiting class, with strong academics and invite them as a walk-on. They get an academic scholarship for that first year and then the team grants a handful a football scholarship. Some of the remaining stick around, and some of the rest transfer out with an awesome letter of recommendation to another program. But granting a handful of scholarships ensures that the following season you have more players coming into the walk-on program.

This is a really, really important part of the team, and we will be giving the best of them 3-5 scholarships every year. The higher the number, the better the walk-on class. The fact that you had walk-ons playing in the bowl game and then earning a scholarship indicates that we had a strong class last year.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby tristatecoog » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:35 pm

Do you believe quite a few of the 25 that don’t get a full ride will transfer after one year?

That wouldn’t be a very good outcome. However, there are clearly a lot of freshman walk-ons on the roster. Their enthusiasm and support had to help. Kudos to the AD for funding the program.

Maybe if hoops had such a program, we wouldn’t have heard about the lack of 5 on 5 in practice.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby JasonB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:45 pm

tristatecoog wrote:Do you believe quite a few of the 25 that don’t get a full ride will transfer after one year?

That wouldn’t be a very good outcome. However, there are clearly a lot of freshman walk-ons on the roster. Their enthusiasm and support had to help. Kudos to the AD for funding the program.

Maybe if hoops had such a program, we wouldn’t have heard about the lack of 5 on 5 in practice.


I think a bunch will leave and go to start at Ivy league schools or in conference USA. Their performance in the classroom and on the scout team with a recommendation from our awesome coaching staff will land them a scholarship in those locations.

But by granting some scholarships here, we will be able to refill those spots easily. I don't think a bunch leaving is a bad outcome at all. It makes us even more of a football factory - are you a borderline recruit? Rather than going straight to a smaller school, give it a shot here for a year, and if it doesn't work out you are going to be able to play football at a better institution than you had an option at previously. Not a bad deal at all.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby tristatecoog » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:00 pm

Totally agree it's a great thing to have lots of competition and to give out ships to 10% or more of the walk-ons.

As far as next steps, I checked one Ivy League roster (Columbia) and they don't have any college transfers. Top schools like Ivies, Patriot League, etc. often have over 90% graduation rate.

I suspect many of the SMU walk-ons that don't get a full ride 'ship may just pledge a fraternity in the spring and be done with it. What a great first year! Play football in the fall and pledge in the spring.

Some probably stay on for multiple years because they love the sport/brotherhood, staying in shape, etc. That would be especially true if they have enough family funds to cover the EFC. They get better tutoring support, meals and lockers/weight training.

I hope most stay and continue for multiple years or just integrate into the student body so the university graduation rate isn't impacted.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby SoCal_Pony » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:16 pm

So Jason, how does the NUMBER of walk-ones (you say 25 to 30) compare to prior years post-DP.

Given the costs, I was surprised at that number.

Also, on the Other Sports page, a supposed obstacle to SMU’s swim team success is the fact that they are limited in their scholarship offers. Yet our football team can get 30 kids who understand how difficult it will be to become significant contributors and in your words, may use SMU as a stepping stone for playing time at a different school. Yet they still attend SMU. What gives???
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby JasonB » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:48 am

SoCal_Pony wrote:So Jason, how does the NUMBER of walk-ones (you say 25 to 30) compare to prior years post-DP.

Given the costs, I was surprised at that number.

Also, on the Other Sports page, a supposed obstacle to SMU’s swim team success is the fact that they are limited in their scholarship offers. Yet our football team can get 30 kids who understand how difficult it will be to become significant contributors and in your words, may use SMU as a stepping stone for playing time at a different school. Yet they still attend SMU. What gives???


30 is way, way, way bigger than we have ever had in the past, outside of the first couple of years post DP. It is an enormous number. I think in the past you are talking like 5. Maybe 10.

I suspect the staff did a ton of work targeting kids who were going to be given academic scholarships if they came in.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby horsemanx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:14 am

JasonB wrote:The walk-on program increases the total size of the roster and allows the defense to hit in practice from Spring training to fall camp and all the way through the season. A quality walk-on program is necessary to be able to run physical practices. Physical practices are necessary to be able to be a power running team and to have a good defense.

Obviously an expensive school like SMU is always at a disadvantage being able to fill out a roster with walkons, so this is great news. Definitely something Sonny is managing well.

It is essential to have a decent number of walkons so we can practice eleven-on-eleven.
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Re: walk on scholarships

Postby JoeKidd » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:51 pm

Teams that have had power running schemes and hard-hitting defenses have always had robust walk-on programs, think Nebraska of the 80's and 90's. This is just another area where Sonny and Staff are doing a great job that is important to building an overall winning program.
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