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Brandon Gearing In-Depth
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Brandon Gearing In-Depth


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For Jon Lender's Section 1 Lab

For Jon Lender's Section 1 Lab

Published in: Sports
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  • 1. Walk-On Football Players in the NCAA
    By: Brandon Gearing
  • 2. The Daily Grind
    Photo Credit: Ben Chapman
    Photo Credit: Ben Chapman
  • 3. No Rest for The Weary
    Photo Credit: Ben Chapman
  • 4. A decorated recruit?
    6-foot-3, 255 pounds
    All-State football player
    Member of the Connecticut All-Star football team
    Two-time Stonington High School defensive MVP
    Recruited to play at Boston College and Vanderbilt University
    Photo Credit:
  • 5. Nothing To Show For It
    No scholarship
    No playing time
    No freebees
    Still happy?
    Photo Credit:
  • 6. By the Numbers…
    20 of 105
  • 7. “They’re vital to our success as a program. They help us in practice and keep our guys fresh.” – Edsall
  • 8. A UConn Success Story
    • Marcus Easley, 2010 UConn Graduate
    • 9. Currently with the Buffalo Bills
    • 10. Only second player ever drafted out of UConn
    Photo Credit: AP
  • 11. National Success
    • Walk-on at Kansas State in 2003
    • 12. All-American by his senior season in 2007
    • 13. Most prolific season by a receiver in team history
    • 14. Now with the Green Bay Packers
    Photo Credit: AP
  • 15. “Necessary Depth”
    Walk-ons used mostly on the scout team
    Help to prepare starters for competition each week
    Keep the starters fresh
    Emulate the other team’s offense and defense
    Study film, learn plays/playing styles
  • 16. A lot to know
    “I know almost the entire offensive playbook of every team in the Big East.” – Chapman
  • 17. Trinity College
    Head coach Jeffrey Devanney
    Roster limit = no walk-ons
    Northeast Suburban Athletic Conference (NSAC)
    No scholarships
    No depth
    Photo Credit:
  • 18. “We risk injuring guys that we need out there on the field during games. We’re definitely cautious with some players, especially at positions where we don’t have quality depth.” - Devanney
  • 19. Southern Connecticut State University
    Head Coach Rick Cavanaugh
    Not the same roster limitations as Trinity
    Uses walk-ons for scout team but gives them a fair chance to start
    More players trying to walk on at a Division 2 school
    Photo Credit:
  • 20. “They have just as good a chance as anyone else to earn a spot on the field. We have less scholarship guys than a school like UConn, so it’s easier to allow ourselves to see what [a walk-on] can do.” - Cavanaugh
  • 21. Why bother?
    At a Division I school with little to no chance that you’ll play
    When you pay for school but still do the same work as your teammates
    When you have to pay to eat in the team dining hall
    When you aren’t taken to road games
    When no one but your closest friends even knows that you’re on the team
  • 22. “It’s an experience that tens of thousands of high school football players would love to have.” - Chapman
  • 23. This is why
    Chapman, left, is celebrating UConn’s victory in the International Bowl in Toronto, Canada in 2009
    UConn won 38-20 over the University of Buffalo
    Photo Credit: Ben Chapman
  • 24. “I just love the game. To me, just being on the sideline, working with players that talented, experiencing Big East football games, being a member of a Division I football team that wins bowl games – it’s awesome.” - Chapman
  • 25. The End