Walk-on Yusef Wade Making an Impact at Nebraska
Over the last several decades, the question that many of the top Nebraska high school football players and their families have had to grapple with is “should we walk-on to Nebraska or take the scholarship from a school in a lower level football division? There is no right or wrong answer here, but in this struggling economy that we find ourselves in today many families may find this decision to be even more difficult than usual.
One player (along with his family) that had to make that thorny assessment last year was Lincoln North Star’s Yusef Wade, who eventually turned down a D-1AA scholarship from North Dakota to walk-on at Nebraska. This week Wade was honored as the Huskers Offensive Scout Player of the Week for his role in helping the Huskers prepare for their 31-17 victory over #5 Missouri.
Like Wade there are many other current Nebraska players and their families that came to the same conclusion of forgoing a full-ride scholarship offer and walking-on at Nebraska–including starting center Mike Caputo out of Millard North.
If this can be of help, here are some of the major pros and cons on whether or not to walk-on at Nebraska:
- Nebraska has one of the better walk-on programs in the country.
- The team is headed in the right direction with big bowl games on tap and possibly even a national championship—nothing can ever replace those types of memories.
- Nebraska is committed to making every effort to ensure that their athletes graduate.
- Long-term, whether or not an athlete ever plays a down at Nebraska during their career, if that athlete sticks with it, keeps his nose clean, and graduates, he will belong to an institution and football rich fraternity that will make every effort to insure he has a successful career in his chosen field.
- No matter how good the Nebraska walk-on program is you are still a walk-on. And despite what they say about everyone being treated equal—you will still find certain things and situations that are not available to walk-on players. Again you are still a walk-on.
- The financial burden on families can be considerable, especially to those who are caught in the middle of not being wealthy enough to not feel the pinch, but that are also not poor enough to qualify for very many financial grants.
- The competition and talent on hand at Nebraska is tremendous and you may never play a down during your career. Therefore, many walk-ons become frustrated and transfer away after their first season or two in the program.
Memories last as long as your conscience mind is viable. Therefore, the question an athlete should really be asking themselves is “twenty years from now–and thereafter for the rest of my life–will I be looking back and saying what if?”
Will I be satisfied with the memories of having attended a lower level school and getting plenty of playing time?
Or will I be kicking myself in the butt every time I turn on ESPN Classics and see the team I could have been part of–maybe even starting for–winning a big bowl game?
In our instant gratification world–the decision becomes even more difficult.
Just remember that you will have to live with yourself for the rest of your time on this earth.