Something I find very funny within college athletics is the connotations that surround the term "walk-on". Some of them are good and some of them are certainly bad. For instance, oftentimes when fans observe walk-on players, they tend to assume that these players lack the talent, intelligent or desire that many student-athletes who earned scholarships possess. It is a common
misconception that these players are majorly inferior to their heavily recruited counterparts simply because they went unnoticed.
On the other hand, many witnesses to the spectacles of college sports agree that walk-on players are some of the hardest working and most passionate, determined individuals on any team in any sport. Today, which tallies 52 days until the start of a new Purdue football season, the folks at Hammer & Rails happily salute the latter notion about the backbone of college sports programs that is walk-on athletes. To make a story short, I will profile #52 Henry Lorenzen, a walk-on Center from Canada and, no doubt, quite an interesting character.
Sadly, most walk-ons work their asses off to climb to incredible heights seemly unattainable to most humans and then later peter out like the wind, their amazing and intriguing journeys going untold. However, today I will not let such deeds go to waste. I am here to ensure that the odd and exciting story of Henry Lorenzen will be heard by many.
Henry Lorenzen - Jr. (RS)
Hometown: Wilsonville, ON (Fork Union Virginia Military Academy)
6'2", 298 pounds
2012 Projection: Backup at Center
As it has now been made clear, Lorenzen joined the Purdue football team as a walk-on to begin his freshman year in 2009 and was then redshirted. His high school career, however, was rather extraordinary. During these years, he earned a 4.0 GPA as a student and "Ontario All-Star" (All-State) honors as well as many other accolades as a defensive lineman. Already before he started his college experience, Lorenzen proved to be quite a smart, athletic and driven son of a bitch. But his story only got more interesting when he began his time in West Lafayette.
Fast forward to 2012, where #52 is a redshirt junior for the football team who has maintained a roster spot as a walk-on since 2009. Oh, and I almost forgot. He is also an engineering student and is paying his own way through school on international tuition. Da hell, Henry?
Without question, his work ethic and load are impressive. And now try imagining your ability to handle such a lifestyle when I tell you this: Lorenzen might finally see some serious playing time in 2012.
I know it's hard. The guy is freaking paying a butt load to study engineering and participate with the football team full time? Yeah, right. Who has that kind of time? But he manages. And after seeing limited time at the very bottom of deep O-Line rotations in his first two eligible seasons as a Boiler, Lorenzen's hard work and seniority might pay off big this year. For one thing, he looks to work his way up to playing backup to Rick Schmeig at Center. With previously presumed backup Cody Davis possibly fighting for a vacant starting spot at Guard, Lorenzen's time to showcase his great size, athleticism and smarts is now.
Doing so will more than likely benefit #52 with more playing time, specifically a larger role in the O-Line rotation and much more snaps in each game. At the very least, Lorenzen and his football abilities should be put to the test as the offseason comes to an end and another walk-on hears his name being called. Or something like that.