Football offers opportunity to walk-on with open tryouts

The crowd watches the action during Central Michigan University's homecoming football game against Toledo at Kelly/Shorts Stadium Saturday, Oct. 14.

Students at Central Michigan University have the chance to join the football team with an open tryout. 

In order to tryout as a walk-on, students have to email Albert Karschnia at by 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 8. 

If a student is given a chance to play for the football team as a walk-on, the athlete can gain a scholarship offer with exceptional performance on the field. 

One of the most famous CMU players to be a walk-on was Antonio Brown. He arrived in Mount Pleasant after a year at North Carolina Tech prep school. After one week of fall practice in 2007, Brown earned a scholarship. 

Brown is now one of the best National Football League wide receivers and a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished the 2017 regular season with 101 receptions for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns. 

In fact, CMU football head coach John Bonamego walked-on to the team in the mid-1980s. Bonamego played as a wide receiver and quarterback. He earned varsity letters in 1985 and 1986. 

J.J. Watt, another former Chippewa, signed in 2007 with CMU, which gave him a scholarship. He left CMU to be a walk-on for Wisconsin, but managed to earn a scholarship while on the scout team during the first few weeks of games. 

Watt was drafted in the first round by the Houston Texas in 2011. He is still with the team, but missed most of the 2017 season with a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg. In five games, Watt logged 11 tackles and two passes defended.