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Walk-ons could be in jeopardy for Nebraska football

There could be a push to essentially to get rid of walk-ons in major college football, something that would hurt the Nebraska football program.



Nebraska football
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Some drastic changes are coming to college football, but one of them could have a bigger impact on Nebraska football than most, which is the potential elimination of the walk-on.

It sounds crazy but walk-on players in major college football could no longer exist according to Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports who says there is a push to change the roster limits in the FBS to 85-95.

The roster limit right now is around 120. Nebraska football is over that number right now which means there could be some roster decisions before the fall. However, that allows teams to carry as many as 35 extra players.

Over the years, whether it was under Tom Osborne, Frank Solich, or even now under Matt Rhule, Nebraska football has always had a strong walk-on program. Hell, even in the NIL era the Huskers have found a way to supplement their roster with walk-ons.

Just a few weeks ago when former in-state recruit Vincent Genatone joined Nebraska football from the transfer portal, it was as a walk-on. If what Dellenger is reporting passes, that wouldn’t happen anymore.

Basically, the idea is that every player on the roster would be on scholarship. So you wouldn’t have walk-ons. Players would be on scholarship or they wouldn’t be on the roster at all.

Hopefully, there will be some pushback. I’m sure coaches won’t like that. Even if the roster number is around 100, that would give teams some flexibility, and in a place like Nebraska, where players routinely spurn FCS offers to walk on for the Huskers, it would definitely have an impact.

Nebraska has two current projected starters who are former walk-ons — John Bullock and Isaac Gifford. So these guys can develop into contributors and draft picks.

It would be a shame if they lost the chance to bet themselves as a walk-on.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska