Richetti Jones: Walk-ons Deserve Praise

Last week was a great way for the Cowboys to start the 2012 season off. The Savannah State game was no contest for the Cowboys as they dominated from the beginning to the end. Let's be real about it, that was expected from the Cowboys. But 84-0 is just unheard of in college football. However, I want to talk about what the Cowboys gained from last week's game.

There have been so many questions and jokes about this past week's game. The question that I have been asked the most this week is what did the Oklahoma State Cowboys gain from this game? There was nothing to learn or gauge the Cowboys by from this game. However, this game was a reward for the walk-ons and back up players of Oklahoma State.

People really don't know what walk-ons go through. These are some of the toughest guys on the football team, both mentally and physically; mentally more than anything. These guys come to practice and work hard every day on the scout team, and probably won't ever get to touch the field.

They are mentally tough because they come to practice every day and compete against guys that are more talented, bigger, faster, stronger and just better football players. To be perfectly honest, sometimes these guys aren't nice and beat these guys up every single day. That's why I take my hat off to walk-ons, and I salute them. It's hard doing what they do.

But don't get me wrong because there are some walk-ons that are the real deal, and make plays on Saturday, earn their scholarship and prove to be better than some scholarship guys.

The scout team is what makes the entire week of practice go smoothly. Without them it would be hard for the offense and defense to run the opposing team's plays and get good looks, without beating each other up all week during practice. Without the walk-ons you would have a bunch of beat up players on Saturdays.

Scholarship athletes get everything paid for -- school, room and board, scholarship checks, and they are feed once a day at training table. Walk-ons on the other hand don't receive any of these benefits.

They do everything they do for the program because of their love for the game. They just want to play football, and some players walk on with hopes of working hard and making enough plays on Saturdays to earn a scholarship. I must say I have seen quite a few succeed.

So for anybody that still has questions about what the Cowboys gained from the Savannah State game, here is your answer. That game was a reward for the walk-ons and backups that work hard but never get to play. That game was for guys that may never touch the field again this whole season.

I am happy for all of them, and hope the Cowboys can have many more games like the one with Savannah State for the guys that put in a lot of hard work and don't receive credit.

(This is a new weekly feature where OSU fans will read the thoughts and opinions of former Cowboys defensive end Richetti Jones. Check back weekly during the football season to get Jones' insightful commentary.)


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