Other college sports phenomenons who have garnered the "make or break" label are walk ons. These players take the risk of attempting to earn spots on athletic teams not by way of scholarships, but tryouts. And as such, it is nearly always an uphill battle for these athletes to work their way up past recruited talent and earn significant playing time in their sports.
However, sometimes certain walk ons come along who have that right mix of sheer talent and hard work. I looked at one such walk on anomaly in Crosby Wright the other day. But, unfortunately most of the time walk ons don't blossom into amazed athletes with bonafide athletic gifts. Instead, many walk ons are the athletics that fill the sidelines--the "every man" players who work hard to keep their roster spots and are always waiting in the wings. Today, we change pace a bit and look at one of these unsung heroes on our football team.
Zack Sigman - Sr.
Hometown: Montmorenci, IN (Benton Central HS)
6'1", 185 pounds
2012 project: Reserve at Wide Receiver, possible contributor on Special Teams
A local guy who walked onto the football team in 2010, Zack was a four time letter-winner in football during his high school days at Benton Central over in Oxford. He also earned four letters in track and two in swimming, holds his school's record in the 400 Meter in track and qualified for the state championships in that event.
Sigman enters his senior season this year low on the pecking order within the receiving corps. As a matter of fact, #80 will be facing heavy competition from a variety of players at what is sure to be one of the Boilermakers' deepest and most talented positions this season. Such talents includes, but is certainly not limited to: veteran receivers who have seen significant starting time like Gary Bush, O.J. Ross and Antavian Edison; younger wide outs moving quickly rising up the position hierarchy such as Raheem Mostert; and finally extra pressure from talents new recruits.
It seems to appear for Sigman that his senior campaign will be one marked by insufficient playing time, unless he can really work to impress his coaches and show them that he belongs in the same conversation with the guys mentioned above. Unfortunately for #80, he has never recorded any statistics at Wide Receiver in his career for the Boilermakers and 2012 seems to be heading down that same, old path. Expect Sigman to be a reserve who could see time on the field if injuries occur and also look for him to attempt to make some noise on special teams units during his senior year.
Be sure to follow Zack Sigman on his Twitter at @ZSigman80.