Brandon Gearing In-Depth


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For Jon Lender's Section 1 Lab

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Brandon Gearing In-Depth

  1. 1. Walk-On Football Players in the NCAA<br />By: Brandon Gearing<br />
  2. 2. The Daily Grind<br />Photo Credit: Ben Chapman<br />Photo Credit: Ben Chapman<br />
  3. 3. No Rest for The Weary <br />Photo Credit: Ben Chapman<br />
  4. 4. A decorated recruit?<br />6-foot-3, 255 pounds<br />All-State football player<br />Member of the Connecticut All-Star football team<br />Two-time Stonington High School defensive MVP<br />Recruited to play at Boston College and Vanderbilt University<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  5. 5. Nothing To Show For It<br />No scholarship<br />No playing time<br />No freebees <br />Still happy?<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  6. 6. By the Numbers…<br />20 of 105<br />85<br />2<br />
  7. 7. “They’re vital to our success as a program. They help us in practice and keep our guys fresh.” – Edsall<br />
  8. 8. A UConn Success Story<br /><ul><li>Marcus Easley, 2010 UConn Graduate
  9. 9. Currently with the Buffalo Bills
  10. 10. Only second player ever drafted out of UConn</li></ul>Photo Credit: AP<br />
  11. 11. National Success<br /><ul><li>Walk-on at Kansas State in 2003
  12. 12. All-American by his senior season in 2007
  13. 13. Most prolific season by a receiver in team history
  14. 14. Now with the Green Bay Packers</li></ul>Photo Credit: AP<br />
  15. 15. “Necessary Depth”<br />Walk-ons used mostly on the scout team<br />Help to prepare starters for competition each week<br />Keep the starters fresh<br />Emulate the other team’s offense and defense<br />Study film, learn plays/playing styles<br />
  16. 16. A lot to know<br />“I know almost the entire offensive playbook of every team in the Big East.” – Chapman<br />
  17. 17. Trinity College<br />Head coach Jeffrey Devanney<br />Roster limit = no walk-ons<br />Northeast Suburban Athletic Conference (NSAC)<br />No scholarships<br />No depth<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  18. 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<br />
  19. 19. Southern Connecticut State University<br />Head Coach Rick Cavanaugh <br />Not the same roster limitations as Trinity<br />Uses walk-ons for scout team but gives them a fair chance to start<br />More players trying to walk on at a Division 2 school<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  20. 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<br />
  21. 21. Why bother?<br />At a Division I school with little to no chance that you’ll play<br />When you pay for school but still do the same work as your teammates<br />When you have to pay to eat in the team dining hall<br />When you aren’t taken to road games<br />When no one but your closest friends even knows that you’re on the team<br />
  22. 22. “It’s an experience that tens of thousands of high school football players would love to have.” - Chapman<br />
  23. 23. This is why<br />Chapman, left, is celebrating UConn’s victory in the International Bowl in Toronto, Canada in 2009<br />UConn won 38-20 over the University of Buffalo<br />Photo Credit: Ben Chapman<br />
  24. 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<br />
  25. 25. The End<br />