Walk-ons still striving for scholarships

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2012 - 11:15 PM

Caleb Bak has started six games during his Gophers football career, but he remains a victim of the tyranny of NCAA roster limits. He's not on scholarship, in other words.

"There's no doubt that you've got to play with a chip on your shoulder when you're a walk-on," said Bak, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman who decided to stay at home after an All-Metro career at Concordia Academy. "There's a lot of people out there who don't think you can do it. In fact, when I came here, there were more people saying I couldn't do it than said I could."

But Jerry Kill wasn't one of them. The Gophers coach makes it clear to non-scholarship recruits that their status means nothing when it comes to filling out the depth chart. Bak is proof of Kill's words, but he's far from the only one. Junior A.J. Barker is the Gophers' leading receiver, and Australian sophomore Christian Eldred is the team's starting punter. Senior placekicker Jordan Wettstein joined the team without a scholarship, too.

"We've had that conversation," about their walk-on status, Bak said of his teammates. "The walk-ons, we get along."

Not that he would mind claiming one of the 85 scholarships Minnesota can bestow. "It's something I'm striving for. It'll come in time -- I'm not worried about it," Bak said.

Rivalry game

Does a 4-0 football team, a longtime underachiever finally focused on earning credibility in the Big Ten, still care about winning a life-size bronze pig?

"I don't think we've let up on any of that. That's part of college football," said Kill, who has lectured his players on the meaning of Floyd of Rosedale and the prestige of beating Iowa since training camp opened. "We're not going to sit here and say it's not [important], because it is. I mean, it's darn important to our fans. It's darn important to our players."

As a reminder, that 98-pound pig trophy -- "I tried to pick it up yesterday," said cornerback Jeremy Baltazar, "but it's a lot heavier than I thought." -- has been displayed in the Gophers locker room this week. Meanwhile, in Iowa City, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz recently rolled an empty trophy case into Iowa's locker room to remind his team that their most prized possessions have been absent for a couple of years.

Injury update

Kill reiterated that senior quarterback MarQueis Gray's left leg is still too sore to practice. He is unlikely to play on Saturday. Offensive lineman Tommy Olson "is a big question mark" because of a sprained ankle, the coach added, and cornerback Martez Shabazz is out because of a dislocated toe, but might recover in time to face Northwestern on Oct. 13.

Linebacker Lamonte Edwards, offensive lineman Joe Bjorklund and receiver Andre McDonald all should be able to take part in practice this week and be available to travel to Iowa City if they are included on the 70-man roster.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Boston
Washington 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close