Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez, who began his college playing days as a non-scholarship defensive back at West Virginia in 1981, has a favorite saying about walk-ons.
He said one of his former players once told him that it felt better to earn a scholarship as a walk-on than it did to do so out of high school.
“He said if you earn it out of high school, that means you’re a really good high school player,” Rodriguez said. “If you earn it out of college, that means you’re a good college player. I had never thought of it that way, but it’s true.”
That said, Rodriguez can say he has three more good college players in receiver Johnny Jackson, linebacker Sir Thomas Jackson and nose guard Tevin Hood.
All three former walk-ons have been awarded scholarships for this season.