Walk on players in college sports are always very interesting subjects. Their paths to success seem to be rather peculiar and dramatic--stuff that might make for inspirational literature or film. But most of the time, walk ons don't achieve the types or statures of success that their scholarship-hugging teammates typically accomplish. Heck, Mark Wohlford worked his ass off each season to hold his spot on the basketball team's bench.
Yet, every once in a while we see walk ons that have the right work ethic coupled with the sheer talent to truly succeed at high levels in the sports in which they compete. Luckily, as today is 82 long days from the football season kick off, we have the perfect opportunity to look at such an individual.
Crosby Wright - Sr.
Hometown: Carbondale, IL (Carbondale Community HS)
6'3", 248 pounds
2012 projection: Starter at Tight End
Wright enters his Senior season at Purdue as the incumbent starter at Tight End, which speaks volumes about his work ethic; after walking onto the football team his freshman year in 2008 and not making an appearance in his collegiate career until 2010--where he served as a special teams contributor and a reserve at Tight End--Crosby finally won the starting job last year. What's more, he appeared and started in all 13 games during the 2011 campaign and caught 16 passes for 223 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. Not bad given Number 82's situation--his numbers last year were the first offensive statistics he recorded in his college career.
To see what I mean about 82's path to success through hard work, watch this YouTube video I found from spring practice this year which contains an interview of Wright (and a bonus Rico Allen interview! Awesome!!)
In addition, Wright is one intelligent son of a bitch. He has garnered Academic All Big Ten honors in each of the past two seasons and will likely do it again this year. And the best part is that Crosby will get a real opportunity to display that acute mental prowess this year, as he was recently named one of the three offensive captains for the 2012 Boilermaker football squad.
With his years of physical and mental hard work about to finally pay off in big ways this season, one can only expect great things from Wright's senior campaign. Look for #82 to be a large contributor within our receiving corps and put up much more impressive numbers this fall. Also, expect him to improve his blocking ability as he shows off the extra mass he added in the offseason and shores up the end of the O-Line. And finally, watch for the newly-crowned offensive captain to become an inspirational and active leader for this offensive squad and the entire team as well.
Overall, when you see a guy who works this hard begin to reach great accomplishments, you can't help but root for him and hope he succeeds at whatever he does. It is truly needless to say that the sky is the limit for Crosby Wright in 2012.
Follow Crosby Wright on his Twitter handle at @CWright1001.