Paul Finebaum boosted his ratings today by having Charles Walker, my preseason pick for SEC Player of the Year, on the show to discuss his new scholarship from Kentucky.
The former walk-on wide receiver told Finebaum that Mark Stoops was completely honest with him from Day 1, telling him he could play at the SEC level and be a contributor at Kentucky. Though he didn’t have a scholarship through his first two seasons, Walker said it never felt like he wasn’t a scholarship player.
“It wasn’t really a big deal that I was a walk-on because when we got onto the practice field I was just another player and it was just another practice,” Walker said. “It really wasn’t that much different, being a walk-on compared to being a scholarship player.”
Walker began contributing as a special teams player in 2014 and then moved up as a wide receiver in his second season, playing in all 12 games with one start.
He said he had no idea the scholarship was coming when Stoops surprised him at a team meeting last Friday night.
“I wish Coach Stoops had maybe called me aside before and said, ‘Hey this is going to be the meeting.’ I was just kind of sitting there and, you know as a walk-on, I’ve seen all those video where coaches award walk-ons scholarships. It was just a regular team meeting and Coach Stoops kind of started talking about what those coaches in those videos talk about, and I’m sitting there in the front row, my heart’s beating, and finally he calls out my name. I really didn’t know what to do I was so happy and my heart was pounding so fast.”
Hopefully we get a full video soon.