An offensive MVP performance from Stetson Bennett guided the Georgia Bulldogs to their first National Championship in college football for 41 years, but is he a walk on? What actually is a walk on in college football?
At halftime of the National Championship game, it looked like yet another title would be heading to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The CT were leading 9-3 as Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett hadn’t really got going – failing to throw a touchdown pass.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs edged ahead, but the game turned in the fourth quarter.
Bennett threw two touchdown passes as the Bulldogs racked up 20 points to just nine for Nick Saban’s side.
The 33-18 result ended the Bulldogs 41-year wait for the National Championship, and made Bennett a hero for life in the state of Georgia.
But was Stetson Bennett a walk on? What actually is a walk on player in college football?
What is a walk on player?
In college sports, a walk on is a player who joins a team without an athletic scholarship in their back pocket.
The player has not received an offer to study at the college because of their athletic prowess.
Being a walk on means that the player has joined a team but is not rated as highly as those with a scholarship.
One famous walk on player is 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield who started out this way with Texas Tech before moving onto university with a scholarship.
Mayfield is now at the Cleveland Browns in the NFL – and was the first overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Is Stetson Bennett a walk on?
Despite a strong High School career at QB, Bennett did not receive the college offers he felt was should have.
His only offer came from Middle Tennessee State in the FBS, as he was deemed not to have the right physical qualities needed for a quarterback.
In 2017, the Atlanta native joined Georgia Bulldogs as a walk on, and steadily rose through the ranks.
He left Georgia for Jones County Junior College for more game time in 2018, but returned as second-string QB for 2019.
When first choice QB JT Daniels was injured in the 2021/22 season, walk on Stetson Bennett stepped up and guided the team to the championship.
Bennett was named offensive Player of the Game for his efforts.