UNT has made a point of emphasizing its walk-on program and talking a lot about it this fall. It’s a smart move. UNT has had a lot of success with walk-ons through the years and has become something of a safe haven for second-chance (transfer) and no-chance, at least not out of high school, players (walk-ons).
It’s one area where UNT really has an advantage. It’s a whole lot cheaper for a player to pay his way at UNT as opposed to SMU and TCU, the two other Dallas area FBS teams.
UNT has a huge plaque in the football offices recognizing walk-ons that have earned scholarships. It’s pretty cool.
I bring it up because I ran across a list of the this year’s CBS Sports Preseason All-America Team that goes through where those players were ranked coming out of high school.
If you look through the list, the vast majority of the players on there were highly rated coming out of high school.
UNT competes on a totally different level from that of most of the teams with players on the All-America squad, but the point remains the same.
To succeed in college football, teams have to compete for and land highly regarded players. The hit-miss percentage on those players is much, much better than on lower-rated players.
The ideal world would be one where UNT could grab highly rated classes and supplement them with the best of the rest who make it as walk-ons. That’s what Dan McCarney did at Iowa, and we are starting to see evidence that is the way things are headed now at UNT, which has grabbed commitments from a couple of key targets, including linebacker Brandon Garner and wide receiver Fonzale Davis.
I have pointed this out time and again over the years, but Garner and Davis are the types of players UNT is going to need to win on a consistent basis.
And while we are at it, here is our latest tally from the annual “Get Your Rear on the Record” contest. Send your picks to email@example.com.
8-4 — Brandon Daniels, Ronald Parrish (RBP79)
7-5 — Andrew Morris, Christopher Walker, JRock, Greg Wagner, Gonzalo Maturino, Northeast Mean Green, James Stinson, John Curry, Darren Foyt (EagleD)
7-6 — Rick Herold, Jonathan Dennis, Andrew J. Hinojosa (UNT Satchmo), Chris Van Cleave (UNT_rocket09), Henry Haskins
6-6 — Harry, Tom Crothers (Eagle MBA), Travis Scott, Shoss, bstnsportsfan3, adman, MeanGreenMatt, Josh Martin, mgfan (Zachary Hallak), NCMeanGreen, Rex Winn (Greenrex), Thomas Van Dieter (Eppie 96), BobFam, Keith Mazy (OXatUNT), Kellen Jemeyson, Scott Robertson (Hunter Green), James Monroe (JKvs.Himself), Alec McKinley, Bob Campbell (Ozark Eagle), Jeff Hale
6-7 — Eagle83, Von Eaglin
5-8 — Brandon Cooper (UNT advances to C-USA title game on a tiebreaker and falls)
5-7 — Brett Vito, Rick Ashwander (Scratch1976), GreenBat, Greendylan, Thor, Travis Miller, Jim Hull, Allen Kriesman (Akriesman), Got5onit, Devin Axtman (An Aquarrian), Jared Morris, Eagle in Omaha, Cody Valle, Will Server, Phillip71, Skip Scott, Nathan Harvey, Jonathan Davidson (MeanGreenTexan), Steven Pettit, Bruce Lathrop (ntsu71)
4-8 — UNT Flyer (Derrick Murray), Bryan Graves (UNTGuy5), Marc Hernandez, Adam Rosenfield, Lynn Ramsey, David Guilligan (Mean Green Scrappy)
3-9 — 97and03, filmerj, Rick Smith (GGRN-WHT)