It may be tough to swallow but there may come a time when you realize that you are not good enough to receive a scholarship from State University during the athletic recruiting process. It may have been your dream to receive that offer but with your position full of recruits, it doesn’t look good for it to be coming.
Since you have spent your life dreaming of playing at State University, that likely means the only route you could take to play there is by walking-on. You may have to pay your own way and be at a disadvantage in terms of training tables but it be something you want to do. With that in mind, when would be a good time to potentially ask or bring up possibly walking on at their program?
The last thing you want to do with regards to a school you love is bring up a walk-on position too early. If you tell the coaches and the media that is likely what you are doing, then why exactly would they consider bringing you on any other way? If they think you can play at their level, then most coaches are savvy enough to realize that we can get a scholarship type player on by walking on and use the scholarship for someone else.
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A few years back I spoke with a recruit who basically told me he was going to be walking on at a school close to home. Then out of the blue, he texted me that he received an offer from the school. This obviously shocked me and I felt something was fishy because even the worst coaches are smart enough to know that an offer wasn’t needed to get him there. In the end, the scholarship was not ever offered as there was a huge miscommunication between the coach and the athlete. These coaches may have been awful but an offer was never coming for this kid even though he was talented.
Once you get the hint that your position is full, then it may be time to start thinking about talking to them about walking-on. Are the coaches calling you? Have they ever called you? Are you sure that they are interested? Have you taken game day visits? Have you spoken with the coaches? These are all questions that would factor into when you should bring it up.
Division I-A (BCS) college coaches will still call athletes throughout the football recruiting process who they feel are good enough to walk-on. This makes it tough because if they are still calling you, is there a shot at possibly getting an offer (or even a grayshirt scholarship)? That is why this is something you need to just be patient about and hope that there might be a scholarship available. In this situation, I might be say to wait until Signing Day or after just in case something comes up with a commitment signing with another school.
If the school hasn’t been recruiting you much lately, make sure you have contacted them and get your senior film in front of them. Then you can email or call them about potentially walking on at their school and see what options are available to you. I would do this sometime after your senior season and get the best footage possible in front of them.
Again, the key is waiting for a good time. You would much rather be late in asking than early because if they think you are good enough, then the timing really doesn’t matter all that much. It is something a lot of athletes do in order to play at a school that they love.