We've seen coaches surprise walk-ons with scholarships every which way — from Charley Molnar tricking two UMass players into thinking they'd been in legal trouble, to Brian Kelly having Josh Anderson serve as Notre Dame's "model" for its alternate uniforms.
Now we have a new entry, courtesy of Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck: An onside kick.
Fleck wrapped a scholarship note with a rubber band around a football to be used for an onside kick at practice, with running back Trevor Sweeney recovering the ball and being told to inspect it. The entire Broncos roster, in on the ploy, surrounded the 5-foot-8 Sweeney before he could even read the whole letter, lifting the junior up and down as he pointed to the sky and struggled to contain his emotions.
"He's from Mattawan (Michigan), which is right down the street," Fleck told ESPN.com. "He's probably the most popular kid on the team, and he's a 4.0 kid and he plays. He's full special-teamer for us. Just a kick-butt guy, tough as nails and a really good player."
"These kids are our backbone," Fleck added of walk-ons. "They're the ones who row the boat more than anyone else."