All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker talks about why he's glad Nebraska's 2019 walk-on class continues to grow and how that will help the program build and improve in the future.
When Adam Carriker talks, you'll want to listen. Get every episode of the "Carriker Chronicles" in your inbox.
Here's a transcript from today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
Today ladies and gentlemen, I want to talk about why the resurgence of the walk-on program, in my opinion, is going to be a huge contributor as a resurgence to the Husker football program as an overall whole. Full disclosure, my brother-in-law is a walk-on, and a couple of my best friends that I played with at Nebraska were walk-ons. That's because I have so much respect for these individuals. They're doing everything that everybody else is doing: lifting, running, film, practice, going to class, and they have to find a way to pay for it as well.
So much respect for them, but beyond that, here's why I believe bringing back the walk-on program is really going to the Husker football program as a whole. First and foremost, let's look at the culture of a team. Now the culture of a team is basically your attitude, basically how you look at things. It's how you practice, it's how you lift, it's how you run, it's paying attention in film. Are you doing the extra hours of film? A lot of times, here's what I've seen, what I've noticed, what my experience has been: when guys come in as walk-ons, a lot of times, they turned down scholarships to somewhere else. That means it means something to them to play at Nebraska.
They're going to practice harder. They're going to hit harder in practice, which some guys may or may not like when they're going against them. But it doesn't matter, they're pushing you to go harder and be better. They're going to lift harder, they're going to lift longer, they're going to be in that film room when nobody else is. This is something that's going to reverberate throughout the entire program. It's going to affect your culture, it's going to affect everybody. It's going to push everybody to get better because if you aren't doing what they're doing, they're going to take your spot, and it's that simple.
Let's also give these guys the respect that they're due. A lot of times, these walk-on guys, they earn scholarships, they become big-time contributors. They have this wall that they dedicate to some of the best walk-ons who have ever played at Nebraska and ladies and gentlemen, it is a fascinating list, and it is not a small list. Here's something that I learned: I've always wanted to go back and look at the numbers from my class when I came in. I never have, but when I came in, there was 20 give or so scholarship guys and 20 give or so walk-on guys. I've always wanted to go back but have never looked at the specific numbers.
There's about 40-45 guys who came in in my freshman class, and this happens each and every year. By the time you're a sophomore or a junior, some guys leave, some guys don't make it. College football, this might shock you, it's not exactly what you see on TV, it's a little bit more difficult than that. The NFL, it may not shock you. This was also before the days when transferring was more common than the common cold. My point is, by the time it was my senior year, our class was whittled down to probably 50 percent the size it was (at the start), maybe even less, maybe 40 percent the size it was my freshman year. I would dare to say that maybe 50 percent or 60 percent of the guys who were left were walk-ons. These guys affect your culture in an incredibly positive way. These guys can play football, and these guys, a lot of times, they outlast the scholarship guys if those guys don't get to play right away., and probably even more so in today's culture.
I'll be honest with you, I wasn't going to say it, but I did share it on Facebook and Twitter, so why shouldn't I share it here? I'm honest; it's what I do. I don't talk a lot about my former coach, Coach Callahan, but I will never forget when he tried to basically get rid of the walk-on program. I just shook my head. He wasn't going to listen. I just shook my head. The resurgence of the walk-on program and seeing this take place right now, right before our eyes, puts a smile on my face, ladies and gentlemen.
Going forward, I took a little bit of time off, we're back on our regular offseason schedule: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. Central time, Omaha.com/Carriker, Facebook and Twitter. National Signing Day week is coming up. That Wednesday night, on National Signing Day, I'll be bringing back Carriker Live at 8 p.m. Central time. Go Big Red, and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.