What is a walk on in football? June 30, 2023 – Posted in: Featured Articles – Tags:

What precisely distinguishes a PWO from a scholarship for a collegiate athlete? Making the right decisions early in a player’s career is crucial because there is no assurance that they will have a successful collegiate career. Only 85 scholarship seats are permitted per program by the NCAA, thus programs must find other ways to get around this restriction, such as using preferred walk-ons (PWOs) and walk-ons. Let’s look at how these three titles differ from one another. 


The designation of a scholarship should be quite obvious. Players who are crucial to the programs’ rosters are actively recruited. The NCAA has a cap on the number of scholarship places at 85, but those who qualify receive the greatest care, amenities, and of course financial aid.

Athletes who get scholarships are guaranteed roster places and team travel. They might be given a full scholarship that pays for everything, including tuition and room and board, or a partial scholarship that only covers a portion of the costs. Most athletes prefer to be in this category, but not everyone is successful in getting a scholarship.

(PWO) Preferred Walk-On

A player with a preferred walk-on status is typically only guaranteed a position on the roster during training camp. This status carries a high risk of danger and may leave the player feeling let down. There are absolutely no assurances.

Is the PWO’s inclusion on the traveling roster a given? not in any way. If the coaching staff decides that their potential was underestimated during the season, they may be symbolically cut from the team at any time.

This situation occasionally starts a vicious circle. Because they need to work to pay the expenses that scholarship students have paid, PWOs might not be able to participate in campus summer exercises. They might not be in the best shape to compete for D1 teams as a result.

Why would anyone want this dangerous status, then? Numerous PWOs are offered scholarships by tier-two NAIA and NCAA teams. However, they accept the chance anyway because of the appeal of receiving a scholarship at D-1 FBS and Power-5 institutions.

Walk On

The walk-on is the lowest of the low in this building. Unlike even the favored walk-ons who attract the coaches’ eye, these athletes enroll in the program without a guarantee of a roster berth.

Both types of walk-ons do not receive scholarships during their initial years, but they do become qualified for them the following year. The difficulties experienced by walk-ons are highlighted by the fact that favored walk-ons receive scholarships before regular walk-ons. Although some walk-ons have achieved success, such as actor Clay Matthews, it is unquestionably the least desirable option.

Walk On in Football FAQs

1) What does “walking on” to the football team mean?

A walk-on for college simply means that you are a member of the team but do not earn any type of athletic financial help (athletic scholarship).

2) Has there ever been a walk-on in the NFL?

Every college team has a few players that signed on as walk-ons at the beginning of their careers, and each year some of them are chosen in the NFL draughts. And some go on to become NFL stars.

3) How do you join a squad as a walk-on?

Inform the coach of your interest as soon as possible.

Hundreds of people interested in playing their sport often speak with coaches and their staff. To discuss the prospect of walking on at your preferred institution, get in touch with the coach as soon as possible.

4) Can you try out for a professional football team?

Anyone who has completed high school is eligible to participate in the NFL draught. Continue working out hard and think about signing up as a walk-on if you are unable to play in college.