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dclark145

Walking on in Division 1

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This is all wonderful reading, and some great testimonies.

Silver-medal, absolutely no shame in trying something like you did then deciding it’s not for you. In fact, I think it is commendable.

Good luck to the wrestler that started the thread.

It’s the kind of thread where each opinion offered has its own merit.

 

J

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This is very good reading.

The testimonies are great too.

Silver-medal, no shame in trying something then deciding it is not for you. In fact, I think it is

commendable.

Good luck to the wrestler that started this thread!

It is the kind of thread in which each opinion offered has its own worth and merit.

 

J

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If you want to do it, then give it a shot. The truth is that you'll never be a starter and will be lucky to win a few matches in open tournaments. There are, of course, the outliers who mature late and succeed after walking on, but they are rare and 99% of the time fully believe that they belong in D1 and were overlooked for some reason/are about to improve dramatically. They take being on the bottom of the food chain personally and train to prove the doubters wrong (or some variation of this). Also, keep in mind that depending on your interests, being on a team will severely limit free time.

 

If you really want to give it a shot, don't just send Cael an e-mail. Try to track down one of the assistant coaches and demonstrate that your interest is well thought out and sincere. If you're strong academically (like you say), have no tattoos, don't drink, and really believe you can make it in D1, they'll probably give you a shot.

 

Judging by your post, though, I'd say it would be best to just hang em up. It happens to everyone at some point.

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I had several teammates walk on at my D 1 school and make the lineup.....because they had a chip on their shoulder and DECIDED they were going to do it....and then paid the price.

 

There's no big secret to it....scholarship or walk-on...you have to want it and you have to pay your dues.

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There is another angle to this that no one has really mentioned. If you do make it as a walk-on, potential employers will be impressed.

 

I can't tell you how many interviews I've had where they ask me about a few work related questions, scan my resume some more and then see that I walked on. Almost always, their face changes and you can see in their head they realize how much hard work it takes to do that. This will truly differentiate you from other people applying for the same job. If you have a good academic record as well, you will be in a great position.

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Your grades will play an important part too. A couple of years ago ASU had a heavyweight on their roster, I won't try to spell his name because it was impossible. Anyway one of the major factors that led to him making the roster was his grades. He was a legitimate 4.0 who was a biochemistry major. Because college athletics have to follow the APR thing now, anyone who is a walk on, shows up, works hard and has very good grades, it makes it more likely you'll make the roster because of the APR thing. Eventually that heavyweight became a starter when injuries hit. He got the opportunity and I think he wrestled at Pac 10's once. Point is, your grades will make you that much more attractive to any college coach due to the APR rule.

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There's a lot of encouraging responses here - I feel the need to offer a counterbalancing perspective. My situation was strikingly similar to yours (unsatisfying H.S. career and academic scholarship to a Big Ten school).

 

First, you'll get your rear kicked in the room. These guys are outstanding athletes who have been wrestling since age 5 and have 2-4 state titles each. You're going to have to outwork them to close the gap and this is a group that's used to hard work. Plus, some of the guys on the team won't appreciate the fact that you're a hard worker committed to improvong your wrestling. All they'll see is someone who is not good enough to challenge them and is only getting in the way of them wrestling someone else who will challenge them and make them better. These guys are not jerks - just single-minded, which is a necessary trait for success.

 

The upshot is your wrestling will improve drastically, but you won't know it until you go back to your HS over Christmas break and school everyone in the room who could give you a good match the year before.

 

Second, your academics will suffer. My GPA tanked and it took me three years to get it to a respectable level. Many wrestlers have excellent grades, but don't let that fool you. It's hard as hell to balance and the guys that have success on the mat and in the classroom are incredibly disciplined and absolute studs for pulling it off.

 

Third, college is about meeting new people and experiencing new things. You finally get to date the chick with the nose ring and blue hair and hang out with the rasta dude with the hemp suit. College wrestling is more than a full time job, and something's gotta give. For me, it was foregoing the college experience. No

drinking, partying, or hooking up. Just wrestling, all the time, and boy is the college season long.

 

I regret losing a year of college to wrestling, because those truly were the best and mpst care-free years of my life. If I didn't walk on, however, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering whether I could have hacked it in a D-1 room. Maybe for you it's worth losing a year just to find out that answer.

 

Good luck, though I think you've already made up your mind.

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Third, college is about meeting new people and experiencing new things. You finally get to date the chick with the nose ring and blue hair and hang out with the rasta dude with the hemp suit. College wrestling is more than a full time job, and something's gotta give. For me, it was foregoing the college experience. No drinking, partying, or hooking up. Just wrestling, all the time, and boy is the college season long.

 

I regret losing a year of college to wrestling, because those truly were the best and mpst care-free years of my life. If I didn't walk on, however, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering whether I could have hacked it in a D-1 room. Maybe for you it's worth losing a year just to find out that answer.

 

I wouldn't contradict anything here... people's experiences are their experiences. But as a counter-counterbalance, the best and most care-free times of my life were wrestling. Even before I was any good at it.

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dclark145,

 

Congrats on receiving a full-ride to Penn State for your academic excellence. You're obviously a smart guy, so why would you be "crushed at the very, very likely thought that Coach Sanderson will not let a run-of-the-mill district runner up touch foot inside his wrestling room." You chose to attend a school that currently has the best collegiate wrestling program in the entire country. No offense, but what makes you think you're worthy of the attention from Cael Sanderson? Don't you realize that time spent working with you is less time spent working with anyone else?

 

I'm sorry, but if your highest finish in high school was second at districts, you don't deserve to be in that room ... just like a blue chip high school wrestler carrying a GPA of 2.0 doesn't deserve to wrestle for Harvard. Your lack of skills will cause more harm to the opponents that practice with you than good.

 

I'm sorry if I'm not telling you what you want to hear, but it's the truth.

 

You may be telling your truth, or your opinion, but that might just be the most inspirational post this kid needs. Tell a wrestler they cannot do something and they will do everything humanly possible (if the are serious) to prove you wrong. Congrats on the full ride for Academics, as said, that is a MAJOR feat in itself. It has been said before "you only deserve what you earn." DClark145, go out an make it happen. Personally, I would love for you to repost if you follow your dreams and make this a reality, I am already a fan for having the nuts to come on here and lay it out on the line.

 

I've seen plenty of state champs fold when the conditioning sets in, college wrestling is a whole different ball game. The best advice so far, be in the best shape of your life and give EVERYTHING you've got.

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One question to consider: Do you love wrestling, or do you love the idea of being a Division I wrestler? If you truly love wrestling, then give it a go. If it's just about calling yourself a DI wrestler, just stop now, because you're wasting your time.

 

Also, make sure you go into this whole process with your eyes open. Your accomplishments thus far are those of a DIII backup, and you're trying to walk on to the best DI team full of walk-ons from the best state for high school wrestling. You will probably be cut, but you won't know unless you try out. All the advice here about working hard and showing up in shape is good and true, but it takes a lot more than that at this level. If anyone tells you that all it will take is enough hard work to get where you need to be, that person is either lying or doesn't know what he is talking about.

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Go for it. Here is the reality you clearly seem to have a love for the sport, the fact, that you took 2nd at districts actually means something, it means that you have some level of talent. The reality is the kids that are at the top or become blue chip whatever aren't so much better than you probably in terms of talent, they may or may not be, they just have had alot more experience and exposure to wrestling much better kids.

 

So, if you can get into PSU's room, I guarantee you will become much better, people saying you can't make it, or get cut, or whatever, if you love the sport I'm 100% sure you will, actually working out and wrestling will be fun. And you will get 10x's better, as you get to wrestle against kids who were state champs or whatever more often. And it won't take nearly as long as you think, you'll get your axx whupped, but go into Cael's office talk to him, tell him, who you are , come in shape, you will likely get cut, but tell him straight up you love the sport and this is first time you've had the chance ot face elite or even upper level wrestlers on a consistent basis and what do you have to do make the team so you can do what you clearly love to do?

 

Take this chance.

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There was a guy about 10 -15 years ago or so that had a losing high school record, and the best he ever did in high school was taking 4th in his conference tournament. He walked on to the University of Iowa's wrestling team. A few people on this message board decided to ridicule him and even make fun of him for it.

 

You know what I see though? I see a guy that stuck it out day in and day out with one of the best wrestling teams in the nation, with THE toughest practices in the nation for four years. People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did. Just my opinion though.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

Like you or Dan Gable would know anything about D-I wrestling. :roll:

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Your grades will play an important part too. A couple of years ago ASU had a heavyweight on their roster, I won't try to spell his name because it was impossible. Anyway one of the major factors that led to him making the roster was his grades. He was a legitimate 4.0 who was a biochemistry major. Because college athletics have to follow the APR thing now, anyone who is a walk on, shows up, works hard and has very good grades, it makes it more likely you'll make the roster because of the APR thing. Eventually that heavyweight became a starter when injuries hit. He got the opportunity and I think he wrestled at Pac 10's once. Point is, your grades will make you that much more attractive to any college coach due to the APR rule.

I think this really is the ace-in-the-hole.

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Ray Brinzer has often said in other columns that just starting to wrestle in the 10th grade isn't the worst place to start. Be there in shape, get some quality workouts with someone that will push you and go from there.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

 

What was Gable's standard on the issue of walkons?

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APR only counts athletes on some amount of athletic scholarship. No walk-on is kept for APR reasons.

 

If somebody was carrying a killer GPA like that and they needed to up their APR I can guarantee they'd be getting something.

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APR also does not take GPA into account. It tracks staying on school and staying eligible. A 2.0 GPA is as good as a 4.0. How the APR is counted is not hard info to find. Go read about it before you post again.

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