#006: The Walk-On Mentality (Part 2 - Preferred)
I used to hate being called a walk-on.
“He’s that walk-on” or “He’s just a walk-on”
Like you’re any less of a football player or human because your school isn’t getting paid for.
Then I started to OWN IT, I was THAT walk-on. I was going to be THAT walk-on that made a difference.
Shiiiiitttttttt… till that first day of fall camp hit…
“Fossum scout team.”
Wtf is the scout team? I thought. Never heard of that in my life.
Well, let me backup.
So Mele called me, told me I had a walk-on opportunity.
The day before that call came in, I was about to sign my letter of intent to a D2 school. (Nothing wrong with D2 but the goal was D1). When I called Luke told him I was about to sign he stopped me and said,
“Bro, why the fuck did we wake up everyday at 5 am for? If you wanted to go D2 I would have let you sleep in. Your opportunity is coming. Stay Patient.
I hung up called the head coach at the D2 school & said coach, “I think I’m going to wait until after baseball season to commit, going to see if any D1 opportunities come in.”
This was his reply, “What? You think Oregon is gonna call you? You’re not that good, you’re not a D1 guy.”
Well, Oregon didn’t call, but WSU did (& we beat Oregon both seasons I was there, even better)
So I took the walk-spot the next day.
I remember when I started to see the freshman get their #’s & post them on Instagram.
I texted River Cracraft, WSU legend & current 49er. I asked if my # was up.
River sent me this picture & said, “#38… ouch”
I told River, “I’ve never loved a # more in my entire life.”
And I really meant that.
Not only did River talk shit on my #, (I wasn’t mad it was brutal on me) but he also made the freshman WR’s do Mohawks with him after I gained the freshman 15. I looked like a fat, wanna punk rock FB.
Coach Mele even said, “you definitely don’t look like you did on film.” Fuck I was really fat. When I say fat, I was way too out of shape. I wasn't moving like I did in HS, I gained 15 pounds thanks to the Northside Dorms food, & just felt unhealthy.
See fucking brutal.
So back to my story. Here we are finally getting an opportunity. I left graduation early to go up for summer. Every kid that was the man on his HS team is here. From all states. And here I was 18 years old thinking I’m gonna walk in like a breeze.
First day of fall camp hit me like a semi truck.
After getting sent to the scout team (Scout team is like the developmental players, walk-ons, guys that need more time, redshirts, everyone but starters) and getting my ass kicked by 300 lb D-linemen from The Somoza Islands, I got 1 rep in 1-on-1’s. Me vs a DB. In front of everyone.
I didn’t even get off the line…
I remember calling my dad after a 6am-10pm double day. My first day of fall camp. It was literally like the movies.
Here I am crying, saying, “Dad, I don’t think I can do this. I don’t know if this is for me.”
I was literally going to quit.
I was so embarrassed, so tired, so weak. I had no idea what I got myself into.
He said, “Kaleb if you quit now you’re going to regret it forever. It’s always going to be hard. I told you that. Take it 1 day at a time. Keep working.”
I mean I almost quit and didn’t send that last email to coach Mele, I almost quit on going D1, & I almost quit.
Think of all the time you almost quit and didn’t! All the good things happen on the other sides of fear, hard work, & resistance. It’s not easy! But it’s worth it!
Oooooo this story is just starting to get good!
This is my version of a TV show cliffhangers, like Outerbanks. You just have to keep watching.
I hope you guys keep reading this.
Next stop: ON THE BUS