Walk-on Spotlight: Louis Givens

This time last year, Louis Givens was playing football at the division two level and had a full scholarship. He has since decided to transfer to Florida State for academic reasons but is still hoping to make an impact on the football field.

Louis Givens, who is a sophomore in eligibility, has slowly caught the eye of several fans of Seminole Nation. The Jacksonville native found his way to Florida State in January pursing his academic dreams and also was able to walk on to the football team.

"I was playing football at a division 2 college called Mars Hills up in North Carolina," Givens said. "I was on scholarship there as the starting wide receiver and starting kick returner. I decided to come here to get a good degree and walked on here. I always wanted to play for Florida State so that's why I came here."

Givens says he has been a Florida State fan his entire life, so when he thought he had the opportunity to suit up in garnet and gold on Saturday's, it was a dream come true.

"I grew up watching Warrick Dunn and Peter Warrick and all of those guys so I always wanted to be just like one of them."

Even though Givens is a just a walk-on for arguably the most scrutinized unit on the Florida State team, he says he is doing his best every day so that there is no difference between him and every other scholarship player.

"I'm a walk-on but I haven't always been a walk-on so I'm very hungry right now," said Givens. "I want to do my best to be on the same level of everybody else, so when I'm on the field, I do my best make a play every time I'm out there."

During the spring, Givens made several nice plays as a wide receiver, but his play has mostly been limited to special teams so far this season. Still, Givens has caught the eye of his head football coach.

"He's been kind of the spark on punt coverage and kickoff coverage. I wish we had about three like him," Bobby Bowden said of Givens' play.

As far as getting on to the field at wide receiver, Givens will most likely have to wait until next season. Being a sophomore, there will be plenty of time for Givens to work his way into the rotation.

"I'm behind some great receivers right now," Givens said. "Coach told me at the beginning of the season that for now I just need to put some work in at special teams and keep going hard in practice every day and things will fall into place."

Even though Givens' play has been limited to special teams, he would most likely be the MVP of that unit if Florida State didn't have one of the best kickers in the nation in Graham Gano. It has been speculated that if a walk-on is going to receiver a scholarship, it will most likely be Givens.

"I haven't talked to them about that yet," Givens said. "I want to really earn it. I feel like I've played well enough but only time will tell if they are going to be able to give me a scholarship."

If Givens does receive a scholarship, it will most likely be at or near the end of the season.

"Anytime I have scholarships left over, I usually try to give them to walk-ons that deserve it," Bobby Bowden said.

In addition to become a special teams standout, Givens is also working hard every day in the classroom. He has chosen to pursue a degree in one of the more difficult fields at Florida State University.

"I'm studying biological sciences right now, Givens said. "It's difficult. I actually didn't get any sleep last night. I stayed up all night studying but I find time to get rest every now and then."

Givens says that while his coursework is very difficult, that is not the toughest balancing act he is going through right now. As a full time student and football player, Givens has no free time for himself, and that means he doesn't even have time for a part-time job.

"The most difficult part is trying to balance out my bills. Not being on scholarship and not really being able to work it gets really hard but I manage and I make sure to keep God in everything so it will all work out."

As far as the rest of the season goes, Givens says he isn't changing his approach at all. He want to continue working hard to control things he is in control of and hopes everything else will work out for him.

"Hopefully I can make even more plays as the season goes on. Starting this week I'm also on punt return and punt block so I just gotta do my best to catch some eyes and hopefully they can throw me a scholarship."

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