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what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?


southerncharm southerncharm


Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member


edited May 2007 in College Life

i know this is a stupid question. i hear it sometimes when i watch football and basketball games on tv.
Post edited by southerncharm on
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Replies to: what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?

  • #1


    punkdudeus punkdudeus


    . Posts: 1,226 Senior Member

    so sometimes players are recruited to play from high school: they get a scholarship, or get scouted and what not.

    a walk on, is when someone who was not recruited, or given a spot on the team before coming to college and "walks on" to the team by trying out and being good enough to get in. Usually QB’s and RB’s don’t get much play as walk on’s, although some do, lots of ol/dl and cb’s do at times. alot of times walk ons play on the scout team or special teams.

    so if you never got recruited because you went to a small school or something, and want to play in college you can try and walk on, but you really have to bust your balls to do it. at the d2 or d3 level you can walk on and have a good shot at starting, although it’s not that hard to get recruited from them.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #2


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    a player can be "recruited" by the school but if the team has limited number of scholarships, all who are not on any form of athletic scholarship are considered walk-ons. take wrestling, for instance. Every Div I program gets 9.9 scholarships but obviously have far more than 10 guys in the room, as it takes 10 to fill a college lineup plus you have to have workout partners. the other guys in the room were more than likely recruited, but are not on scholarship. a lot of sports and/or schools guarantee a player a decent amount of money once they become a regular in the lineup.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #3


    bessie bessie


    Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member

    A walk-on is a player who is on the college sports team but is not on a scholarship. There is such a thing as recruited walk-ons who often get help with admittance in return for their services. Some are just kids who want to go to a certain school and would have been admitted regardless, but would not have been offered an athletic scholarship there. Since basketball and football are revenue sports, most players (if not all) are on full scholarship. People use the term walk-on to describe those who were not considered for a scholarship offer. Some walk-ons manage to earn a scholarship during their tenure at the school. In the non-revenue sports, scholarships are often split many ways between a lot of team members so there is less of a delineation between scholarship athletes and walk-ons from scouts, coaches, and announcers.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #4


    dank08 dank08


    Registered User Posts: 1,768 Senior Member

    It is a lot tougher to get on a team as a walk on, especially if you have not been in contact with the coach.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #5


    vicissitudes vicissitudes


    Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member

    Well you know what a walk-off is: it’s a male model contest.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #6


    tsdad tsdad


    Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member

    Most of the walk-ons in Division IA football programs are recruited. Some eventually wind up with scholarships.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #7


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    tsdad, being a walk-on and being recruited are mutually exclusive. A recruit w/o a scholarship is still a recruit.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #8


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    recruit and walk-on are NOT mutually exclusive.

    a recruit with scholarship, is a scholarship athlete.
    a recuit with no scholarship is a walk-on, but yes, still a recruit. these are generally the people who will later get a scholly if they become an everyday player in the lineup.
    a non-recruit is a walk-on.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #9


    mavsin mavsin


    Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member

    It’s like someone who has to try out to make the team instead of being given a spot.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #10


    diesel diesel


    Registered User Posts: 866 Member

    i would say that a recruit with no scholarship is a prefered walk on.

    a true walk on is someone who didn’t send in a tape, wasn’t scouted, someone that the coaches have never heard of

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #11


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Listen to cards4life, ignore everybody else, none of them seem to have a clue…
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #12


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    diesel is also correct, although when a game is being televised and the announcer say "and John Doe is starting at linebacker because Joe Smith is injure, and John Doe started at XYZ University as a walkon…" they don’t use the phrases ‘preferred walkon’ or ‘true walkon’. everyone knows that there are some who may be ‘preferred’, but you’d never know a preferred from a true walkon just by listening to someone announce a game.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #13


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    does that mean every ivy-league athlete is a walk-on cards4life and dilksy, none of them can have athletic scholarships.

    As a walk-on myself, I guarantee you that if you were recruited, your teammates do not consider you a walk-on, you are a recruit. You were recruited to the team, regardless of whether you got paid for it or not. That means you couldn’t have "walked-on" to the team during tryouts and made the cut.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #14


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Everybody’s on equal footing at the Ivy Leagues, so there’s no need for a term distinguishing scholarship and non-scholarship athletes. In that case, you could use walk-on to differentiate between people who had contact with the coach ahead of time, and people who just showed up for tryouts. Otherwise, it strictly refers to non-scholarship status.

    I follow college hockey a lot. Even though a team doesn’t have enough scholarships for everybody, you can bet everybody who gets dressed regularly was recruited. And the ones who don’t have scholarships are referred to as walk-ons.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

This discussion has been closed.

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College Discussion / College Life
New Discussion

what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?


southerncharm southerncharm


Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member


edited May 2007 in College Life

i know this is a stupid question. i hear it sometimes when i watch football and basketball games on tv.
Post edited by southerncharm on
0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

Replies to: what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?

  • #1


    punkdudeus punkdudeus


    . Posts: 1,226 Senior Member

    so sometimes players are recruited to play from high school: they get a scholarship, or get scouted and what not.

    a walk on, is when someone who was not recruited, or given a spot on the team before coming to college and "walks on" to the team by trying out and being good enough to get in. Usually QB’s and RB’s don’t get much play as walk on’s, although some do, lots of ol/dl and cb’s do at times. alot of times walk ons play on the scout team or special teams.

    so if you never got recruited because you went to a small school or something, and want to play in college you can try and walk on, but you really have to bust your balls to do it. at the d2 or d3 level you can walk on and have a good shot at starting, although it’s not that hard to get recruited from them.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #2


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    a player can be "recruited" by the school but if the team has limited number of scholarships, all who are not on any form of athletic scholarship are considered walk-ons. take wrestling, for instance. Every Div I program gets 9.9 scholarships but obviously have far more than 10 guys in the room, as it takes 10 to fill a college lineup plus you have to have workout partners. the other guys in the room were more than likely recruited, but are not on scholarship. a lot of sports and/or schools guarantee a player a decent amount of money once they become a regular in the lineup.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #3


    bessie bessie


    Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member

    A walk-on is a player who is on the college sports team but is not on a scholarship. There is such a thing as recruited walk-ons who often get help with admittance in return for their services. Some are just kids who want to go to a certain school and would have been admitted regardless, but would not have been offered an athletic scholarship there. Since basketball and football are revenue sports, most players (if not all) are on full scholarship. People use the term walk-on to describe those who were not considered for a scholarship offer. Some walk-ons manage to earn a scholarship during their tenure at the school. In the non-revenue sports, scholarships are often split many ways between a lot of team members so there is less of a delineation between scholarship athletes and walk-ons from scouts, coaches, and announcers.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #4


    dank08 dank08


    Registered User Posts: 1,768 Senior Member

    It is a lot tougher to get on a team as a walk on, especially if you have not been in contact with the coach.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #5


    vicissitudes vicissitudes


    Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member

    Well you know what a walk-off is: it’s a male model contest.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #6


    tsdad tsdad


    Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member

    Most of the walk-ons in Division IA football programs are recruited. Some eventually wind up with scholarships.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #7


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    tsdad, being a walk-on and being recruited are mutually exclusive. A recruit w/o a scholarship is still a recruit.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #8


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    recruit and walk-on are NOT mutually exclusive.

    a recruit with scholarship, is a scholarship athlete.
    a recuit with no scholarship is a walk-on, but yes, still a recruit. these are generally the people who will later get a scholly if they become an everyday player in the lineup.
    a non-recruit is a walk-on.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #9


    mavsin mavsin


    Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member

    It’s like someone who has to try out to make the team instead of being given a spot.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #10


    diesel diesel


    Registered User Posts: 866 Member

    i would say that a recruit with no scholarship is a prefered walk on.

    a true walk on is someone who didn’t send in a tape, wasn’t scouted, someone that the coaches have never heard of

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #11


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Listen to cards4life, ignore everybody else, none of them seem to have a clue…
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #12


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    diesel is also correct, although when a game is being televised and the announcer say "and John Doe is starting at linebacker because Joe Smith is injure, and John Doe started at XYZ University as a walkon…" they don’t use the phrases ‘preferred walkon’ or ‘true walkon’. everyone knows that there are some who may be ‘preferred’, but you’d never know a preferred from a true walkon just by listening to someone announce a game.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #13


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    does that mean every ivy-league athlete is a walk-on cards4life and dilksy, none of them can have athletic scholarships.

    As a walk-on myself, I guarantee you that if you were recruited, your teammates do not consider you a walk-on, you are a recruit. You were recruited to the team, regardless of whether you got paid for it or not. That means you couldn’t have "walked-on" to the team during tryouts and made the cut.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #14


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Everybody’s on equal footing at the Ivy Leagues, so there’s no need for a term distinguishing scholarship and non-scholarship athletes. In that case, you could use walk-on to differentiate between people who had contact with the coach ahead of time, and people who just showed up for tryouts. Otherwise, it strictly refers to non-scholarship status.

    I follow college hockey a lot. Even though a team doesn’t have enough scholarships for everybody, you can bet everybody who gets dressed regularly was recruited. And the ones who don’t have scholarships are referred to as walk-ons.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

This discussion has been closed.

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College Discussion / College Life
New Discussion

what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?


southerncharm southerncharm


Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member


edited May 2007 in College Life

i know this is a stupid question. i hear it sometimes when i watch football and basketball games on tv.
Post edited by southerncharm on
0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

Replies to: what does the term walk-on mean in college sports?

  • #1


    punkdudeus punkdudeus


    . Posts: 1,226 Senior Member

    so sometimes players are recruited to play from high school: they get a scholarship, or get scouted and what not.

    a walk on, is when someone who was not recruited, or given a spot on the team before coming to college and "walks on" to the team by trying out and being good enough to get in. Usually QB’s and RB’s don’t get much play as walk on’s, although some do, lots of ol/dl and cb’s do at times. alot of times walk ons play on the scout team or special teams.

    so if you never got recruited because you went to a small school or something, and want to play in college you can try and walk on, but you really have to bust your balls to do it. at the d2 or d3 level you can walk on and have a good shot at starting, although it’s not that hard to get recruited from them.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #2


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    a player can be "recruited" by the school but if the team has limited number of scholarships, all who are not on any form of athletic scholarship are considered walk-ons. take wrestling, for instance. Every Div I program gets 9.9 scholarships but obviously have far more than 10 guys in the room, as it takes 10 to fill a college lineup plus you have to have workout partners. the other guys in the room were more than likely recruited, but are not on scholarship. a lot of sports and/or schools guarantee a player a decent amount of money once they become a regular in the lineup.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #3


    bessie bessie


    Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member

    A walk-on is a player who is on the college sports team but is not on a scholarship. There is such a thing as recruited walk-ons who often get help with admittance in return for their services. Some are just kids who want to go to a certain school and would have been admitted regardless, but would not have been offered an athletic scholarship there. Since basketball and football are revenue sports, most players (if not all) are on full scholarship. People use the term walk-on to describe those who were not considered for a scholarship offer. Some walk-ons manage to earn a scholarship during their tenure at the school. In the non-revenue sports, scholarships are often split many ways between a lot of team members so there is less of a delineation between scholarship athletes and walk-ons from scouts, coaches, and announcers.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #4


    dank08 dank08


    Registered User Posts: 1,768 Senior Member

    It is a lot tougher to get on a team as a walk on, especially if you have not been in contact with the coach.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #5


    vicissitudes vicissitudes


    Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member

    Well you know what a walk-off is: it’s a male model contest.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #6


    tsdad tsdad


    Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member

    Most of the walk-ons in Division IA football programs are recruited. Some eventually wind up with scholarships.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #7


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    tsdad, being a walk-on and being recruited are mutually exclusive. A recruit w/o a scholarship is still a recruit.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #8


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    recruit and walk-on are NOT mutually exclusive.

    a recruit with scholarship, is a scholarship athlete.
    a recuit with no scholarship is a walk-on, but yes, still a recruit. these are generally the people who will later get a scholly if they become an everyday player in the lineup.
    a non-recruit is a walk-on.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #9


    mavsin mavsin


    Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member

    It’s like someone who has to try out to make the team instead of being given a spot.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #10


    diesel diesel


    Registered User Posts: 866 Member

    i would say that a recruit with no scholarship is a prefered walk on.

    a true walk on is someone who didn’t send in a tape, wasn’t scouted, someone that the coaches have never heard of

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #11


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Listen to cards4life, ignore everybody else, none of them seem to have a clue…
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #12


    Cards4Life Cards4Life


    Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member

    diesel is also correct, although when a game is being televised and the announcer say "and John Doe is starting at linebacker because Joe Smith is injure, and John Doe started at XYZ University as a walkon…" they don’t use the phrases ‘preferred walkon’ or ‘true walkon’. everyone knows that there are some who may be ‘preferred’, but you’d never know a preferred from a true walkon just by listening to someone announce a game.
    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #13


    i_wanna_be_Brown i_wanna_be_Brown


    Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion

    does that mean every ivy-league athlete is a walk-on cards4life and dilksy, none of them can have athletic scholarships.

    As a walk-on myself, I guarantee you that if you were recruited, your teammates do not consider you a walk-on, you are a recruit. You were recruited to the team, regardless of whether you got paid for it or not. That means you couldn’t have "walked-on" to the team during tryouts and made the cut.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

  • #14


    dilksy dilksy


    Posts: 1,903 Senior Member

    Everybody’s on equal footing at the Ivy Leagues, so there’s no need for a term distinguishing scholarship and non-scholarship athletes. In that case, you could use walk-on to differentiate between people who had contact with the coach ahead of time, and people who just showed up for tryouts. Otherwise, it strictly refers to non-scholarship status.

    I follow college hockey a lot. Even though a team doesn’t have enough scholarships for everybody, you can bet everybody who gets dressed regularly was recruited. And the ones who don’t have scholarships are referred to as walk-ons.

    0 · Reply · Share on Facebook

This discussion has been closed.

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