CSU football to host walk-on meeting Feb. 21

Colin Barnard

For some athletes, the love of football outweighs the setback of defeat. Despite graduating high school without much interest from Division I football programs, their passion for the game does not lessen.

Adam Prentice runs the football
Fullback Adam Prentice turns to run upfield as defenders close in on him during a game against the Air Force Falcons on Oct. 28, 2017. The Rams lost 45-28. (Jack Starkebaum | Collegian)

At Colorado State University, head coach Mike Bobo and the rest of the football staff are giving students an opportunity to live that passion out. CSU will host an informational meeting for prospective walk-on athletes on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in CSU Stadium.

Ad

The Rams are no stranger to grooming walk-on players into key contributors. Just last season, former walk-on and senior Jakob Buys finished second on the team in sacks and tied for the team-lead in forced fumbles. Kicker Wyatt Bryan, a walk-on who redshirted in 2014, was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award and is CSU’s current leader in career field goal percentage.

CSU nominated fullback Adam Prentice as its Burlsworth Trophy nominee in 2017, an award given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his collegiate career as a walk-on player. After redshirting as a walk-on freshman in 2015, Prentice earned a scholarship during fall camp of 2016.

“If you want to earn a scholarship, it’s definitely possible, you just have to be willing to put the work in,” Prentice said. “If you love the game that much and are willing to put in that little bit of extra work, it’s definitely possible.”

The redshirt junior played in all 13 games for the Rams last season, recording his first career touchdown reception against Air Force on Oct. 28. He served as the lead-blocking fullback on an offense that ranked No. 11 in the country.

Though he was unsure about walking onto a team after graduating high school, Prentice’s hard-nosed approach to football has not wavered.

One of the leading determinants in his decision to walk-on was Bobo’s honesty with him during his visit. Despite converting an undersized high school linebacker into a fullback, Bobo still insisted that Prentice could earn a scholarship in the future.

Three years later, Prentice is an integral member of the Rams.

“We’re all on the team, we’re all in this together, it doesn’t matter who’s a walk-on or who’s a scholarship guy,” Prentice said. “We’re all here for the same goal, because we love football and want to win. That’s ultimately what it comes down to.”

In addition to the lessons he’s learned on the field, Prentice’s experience as a walk-on has only aided his mindset in life.

“It’s proven to me that with hard work you can earn whatever you want,” Prentice said. “Whether that’s on the field, in the classroom, just in life in general. If you’re willing to put in that work just a little more than other people, you’re going to get what you want.”

Ad

CSU is also looking to fill student roles on the football staff, including positions in creative media, player personnel, recruiting operations and football operations. A meeting for those interested will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 21 in CSU Stadium.

Collegian sports director Colin Barnard can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_.