Walk-on defeats odds, thrives on field

Chandler Daddario, Associate Sports Editor

Walking on to a Division I football team’s roster may be the dream of many prospect athletes around the country that simply did not get formally recruited.

Junior running back Marshall Wadleigh saw the opportunities that arose in attending Tulane University at the end of his senior year in high school and decided it was the route to take. The fortunate experience of attending a top academic school with Division I athletics would be a deciding factor for many athletes.

“Once I found out that I was going to be paid to go to school, we contacted the athletics program and we sent them my film,” Wadleigh said. “I had a couple of my coaches call to get references. By the time I talked to them, they obviously told me that they did not have any more scholarships … and they had not really recruited me before that, so I knew I would have to walk on. Once they saw my tapes and the coaches gave them a call, they agreed to let me walk on.”

Becoming a Division I walk-on starter is no easy feat considering the amount of recruited talent on the current roster. Wadleigh was determined to overcome the obstacles set in his path and achieve his goal as quickly as possible. With the new Tulane coaching staff, Wadleigh has his eyes set on more playing time this upcoming season.

“It was definitely a uphill battle being a walk-on,” Wadleigh said. “The last couple of seasons there was typically a negative connotation associated with that. It probably took a little longer than most guys to earn respect and that for people to realize that you really should be there, after a while I was luckily able to prove that.”

The Tulane football walk-on tryouts may be strenuous but the final outcome is what matters most, especially for Wadleigh.

“I always claim the walk-on title proudly,” Wadleigh said. 

Tulane football’s new head coach, Willie Fritz, is looking to expand the roster in order to become an even larger competitor this upcoming 2016 season. The Green Wave coaching staff is reaching out to the Tulane student body for help. A mandatory informational tryout meeting will be held at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday in the Qatar Ballroom in the Lavin-Bernick Center.