Nebraska football always had great success with its walk-on program and now that Scott Frost is the head coach, the Huskers are killing it with walk-ons.
There is something special about Nebraska football, something so unique that many players forgo scholarship opportunities elsewhere to play for the Huskers.
The walk-on program was a staple of Nebraska football in the days of Tom Osborne and while it certainly hasn’t left, it just hasn’t been emphasized by previous coaches like it should have been.
While some might not think walk-ons are a huge deal, when it comes to the Huskers they would be dead wrong. For one, it definitely helps to add quality, FBS or FCS level talent without committing a scholarship. And so far in this recruiting class, Nebraska football has picked up nine of those guys, including two walk-on commitments Thursday from Caden McCormack and Noah Stafursky.
Both of those players had offers to play college ball elsewhere without having to walk-on. But they are from Nebraska and playing for the Huskers means something even more to them and tapping into that should continue to be a great resource for Scott Frost, who has made it a point to focus on the walk-on program.
Frost and the Huskers hosted a group of walk-ons Wednesday night in Lincoln and so far, it appears to have paid off in spades with two new commitments to a walk-on class of nine. Hopefully, there are more to come.
And at Nebraska, walk-ons aren’t just as practice dummies, they are given a legitimate shot to compete and over the years, 25 walk-on players have been drafted by the NFL. Many have starred on national championship teams or helped the Huskers win conference championships.
However, in the last decade or so, the tradition has gone downhill a little bit. There were still walk-ons coming to Nebraska and Andy Janovich who was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2016 was a recent example. Spencer Long and Alex Henrey are two others that have been drafted in the last decade.
But more than that, walk-ons are a resource to get talent. Obviously, not every walk-on kid is going to succeed. Some will never play for the Huskers. However, some will and even if one or two of these guys become a serviceable player, maybe even providing depth on the two-deep, well, then that’s a win.
Frost is clearly working to rebuild the infrastructure of Nebraska football and the 2019 recruiting class, which has six or seven 4-star players depending on the publication, is a huge part of that. But it’s not just about the star players, it’s about the nine walk-on guys that will add depth and competition.
Walk-ons have always been an important part of Nebraska football and Frost gets that. The guy just gets Nebraska and that’s why, sooner rather than later, he will make us all be proud of the Huskers again.