Nader is a decent athlete but i don't see him playing much because most of the scholarship players play his style but better
Walk-Ons: The Nader Furrha Story
I am sure you have seen the artile, U-M’s Rodriguez wants more walk-ons... although he probably doesn't want them starting at QB again.
So, what makes a great walk-on program? Is it finding All-Conference or All-American talent? Or maybe filling needs on the roster with great “character guys” - “projects” - “late bloomers”?
The most famous walk-on is probably Daniel “RUDY” Ruettiger and his sack against Georgia Tech in 1975. So what can a new or “preferred” walk-on program mean for Michigan? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
It seems coach Rodriguez, who was a walk-on himself at West Virginia, hopes to find a handful of players that can contribute in the future and possibly on this year’s team:
"They're going to create some competition at practice, and I would suspect in the new walk-on group, there will be three to four of them who will earn scholarships. There will be one or two who may play as soon as this year, and I'm really excited about that."
But, where do walk-ons come from?
The term usually refers to an athlete who becomes part of a team without being recruited beforehand or awarded a scholarship. Until 1977, schools were allowed to offer as many scholarships as they desired, a rule that resulted in the stockpiling of top players by major football programs. The NCAA has limited the number of scholarships since ’77: 95 from 1977-91, at 92 in 1992, 88 in 1993, and at 85 since 1994. Schools are also required by Title IX to provide an equal number of athletic scholarships to men and women; 85 football scholarships are thus, hard to even out…
Thus, teams look to walk-on players to fill out their rosters, participate as members of the scout team, and at some positions - prove their merit before being considered for a scholarship (punter, kicker, long-snapper, etc). Walk-ons also provide depth at positions that were not adequately addressed by scholarship recruits or where a team has seen losses due to injuries. However, for many players it is a chance to fulfill a dream – and it is unlikely that they will ever see meaningful playing time.
There is debate as to who benefits from scholarship limitations. Some claim that it has lead to greater parity within the system and allowed smaller programs to attract talent. While others argue that top programs get the best of both worlds: recruiting the best players and luring other talented players who are willing to enroll as preferred walk-ons.
At Michigan, a successful walk-on program should result in the attraction of players who were recruited by other programs, but would prefer to play at Michigan because of our tradition, academics, or maybe a connection they have to the Michigan family... Michigan enters this season with quite a few players in the walk-on program and hopefully some that might contribute down the line: Barker, Lindley, and several kickers. For the time being lets ignore the walk-ons that contributed to last year’s team…
Ideally a strong Michigan program can attract positions of need such as FB within our system and give our coaches a chance to find contributors in a unique way. Because of its small town makeup and tradition of 7v7 football, Nebraska has produced a lot of talent within its walk-on program over the years (Joel Makovicka, Jason Peter) – something that Barry Alvarez has attempted to recreate at Wisconsin:
The big exception to the rule was Jim Leonhard, a walk-on from tiny Tony, Wis. “He was a little safety that no one recruited,” Alvarez said. “By his second year, he was leading the Big Ten in punt returns and still wasn’t on scholarship. We got him on scholarship in a hurry after that.”
And where’s Jim Leonhard now? “In his fifth year in the NFL,” Alvarez said.
Many small town players prove to be great athletes with hard work ethic, but they receive no attention from coaches and recruiting services. Thus, the Nebraska’s program has been the benefactor of a great tradition of walk-on players – much of it is chronicled in a new documentary, Walk Ons: Husker Edge, that is available on the web this week.
Overall, I think an argument can be made already based on our recruiting in 2009-2010, that our coaches are scouting and targeting talent to fill unique needs within our defensive and offensive schemes (fullback/deathbacker/slot-ninja). Some of these players are going to be relative unknowns and others may only be lightly recruited by major programs. This combined with Michigan’s large fanbase, tradition, and strong academics – could be exactly what we need to establish a strong walk-on program.
Author's Note: Due to Demand - Info on Furrha...
-local talent from Ann Arbor Pioneer
-had ascholarship offer from GVSU, interest from some MAC schools
-decided to commit to UofM as a preferred walk-on
-info from Brian on Nader Furrha
It was interesting to read about the history of walk-ons, which I didn't know before.
Where's the part about Furrha?
Nothing on that front, just using him in the title...
Awesome, the Nader Furrha Story that doesn't mention Nader Furrha, I love it!
Was going for a Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story reference with the title...
More information should be provided Furrha, since qb is such a hot topic these days...
But Nebraska has gone down the crapper physically, to a point where they have lost the edge in size and strength that made them dominant, both in their scholly and walk-on programs, since the NCAA started testing for steroids. The one particular walk-on "tradition" that seems to have ebbed is that of a 195-pound freshman getting a scholly as a 325-pound junior or senior.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc? Maybe. But there is definitely the potential for a connection there.
This is the first assertion I've heard of in regards to walk-ons, specifically at Nebraska. Evidence?
notable walk-on that came through WVU. He became a key cog for the WVU success.
Chrisgocomment posted the story of Donnie Warner awhile ago. He was an undersized walk-on for Bo who ended up doing a lot more than participate in one play.
Would you rather have a starting defensive tackle who stuffs Archie Griffin, or a cornerback who once did this:
(ff to 1:29 to see Rudy's play)
As for Furrha, I don't think we'll see him play unless something goes seriously wrong...I mean like Forcier/Sheridan/Shoelace/Coner-all-injured-in-2009 wrong. After this year, Devin Gardner and Cornelius Jones (provided both make it to campus) will likely be slated above Furrha. Even fellow walk-on Jack Kennedy is ahead of him on the depth chart at the moment (by nature of being there for the Spring Game).
Nader also was listed as No. 14, which he shares with classmate (and fellow offensive player) Teric Jones. My guess is that Furrha will serve as a scout team QB, emulating guys like Juice Williams and that no-goodnik Terrelle Pryor.
Lloyd always had walk-ons, too, but they were usually Depth-WR-from-Farmington or Placekicker-in-a-pinch types. I think RR's success in WVa with walk-ons was partly just a reflection of that school. The best places for unearthing walk-ons are schools in under-scouted parts of the country, Appalachia being one of those parts. Having met alums from schools all over the country, it's kind of stood out to me how un-athletic Michigan really is when it comes to the general student body. We compete well in club sports and such because we're a rather large school, I think, but as a campus community I don't see Michigan as a great hotbed of undiscovered football skill.
On the other hand, and here's where I destroy my whole point above, when a walk-on makes the team, it's not because he's more talented than the next guy, but because he's smarter. Look back on the Donne Warner tale -- here's a guy who's a little mite, jumping to the top spot on a deep defensive line because he had the wits to read the opposition's plays from very subtle shifts. Football is a game for the quick-witted and the hard-working, and if you can say anything for someone who got accepted to the University of Michigan out of high school, it's a decent bet that the person has healthy portions of mental agility and work ethic.
For an 18 year old.
Any UFR on this play has to mention FB #44 for GT completely overruns his block, and ends up on the other side of the play from his man.
Granted, when down and out and throwing Hail Mary's for the hell of it, the last thing you're expecting is a
midget cornerback blitz. But still, had he seen Rudy coming before setting up on the top of the pocket, we may have been spared a generation's worth of Domer saccharinity.
Nice dairy, I've never really heard about the walk-on players and the whole preferred walk on thing.
Mayes was a walk-on after tranferring from Xavier. He was a captain in '97. There's a great write-up on him here:
why not do an actual story on the kid? I recall one of the MSM criticisms of bloggers and their ilk was that they'd have neither the inclination nor resources to cover some of those "human interest" pieces on some of the less-heralded players, or about the little-known challenges overcome by the stars. now, I have not the time to be doing this, but I could easily see some young, enterprising soul - an aspiring journalist, perhaps - taking the initiative to interview some of these players to get the inside scoop.
An oldie but goodie from the SI vault about walk-ons is here:
QB Kennedy is not included
I don't remember exactly the story, but wasn't Clay Matthews from USC a walk-on at the beginning? I think that part of his story was that he got to be a starter and then a first-round draft pick despite walking on at USC. If that's true, that has to be one of the best modern non-kicker walk-on stories.
Of course, correct me if I'm wrong about him. Also, it was probably helpful that his father played in the NFL for a long time.
Side note: in his Mortensen interview, Matthews says that he didn't even know that Green Bay was in Wisconsin when he got drafted...um, hello? Shouldn't any football player be schooled in the basic history of the sport, including Vince Lombardi, Lambeau Field, and the Green Bay Packers? They're like the Montreal Canadiens of the NFL!!