Just a few leftover quotes here that, I think, help to convey the pure gratitude and joy that is presumably overwhelming the five Nebraska walk-ons who now are officially on scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year.
It’s a day that every walk-on works toward, looks forward to, cherishes. And considering the legacy that several distinguished walk-ons have within this program’s history, it’s a day that should be significant for all Huskers.
Junior Spencer Long and senior Brett Maher were told in the summer, but it’s pretty clear that hearing Bo Pelini call their names Saturday was still a surreal moment. The other three honored: seniors Justin Jackson, Seung Hoon Choi and Justin Blatchford. More coming Sunday.
>> Choi indicated that the entire team was pretty pumped. Said Choi: “Yeah, they did (cheer). I really appreciate that. It was me, Spencer and Justin Jackson. We were fortunate to have three guys get scholarships (on the O-line). It’s just a great feeling.”
>> Said Blatchford: “I guess I really wasn’t expecting it. I’ve just been working toward it. It’s always been a goal of mine. I’m just very thankful that it came true. It’s definitely a day that I’ll remember because it’s something you look forward to as you’re growing up.”
>> Then again, a walk-on is always appreciative just for the chance to play for NU, according to Blatchford. Here’s what he said: “Just getting the experiences that you get — to be on the team, to go to practice, to get all the attention that we get and to get all of the experiences of going to the away games and playing in front of 85,000 of the greatest fans in college football. It doesn’t get much better than that. Getting a scholarship is a bonus, really. This is just a dream come true.”
>> Maher’s plan was that he’d get a scholarship, at some point. Maher: “I was hoping so. My goal was always to play when I was here. And I figured if I could do that and get on the field then I would be able to be in this position.”
>> And here’s coach Bo Pelini, on the positives and negatives of rewarding some (but not all) walk-ons. Said Pelini: “It’s hard for me. I feel really good for the guys that I’m able to reward, but there are a lot of deserving guys. … Unfortunately, you can’t give them all one.”