football-fbs flag

Ryan Cooper | NCAA.com | August 15, 2016

WMU walk-on tackles coach, presented scholarship by Stallone

It is a momentous occasion for any walk-on player who has been given a full scholarship in recognition of hard work and a great attitude. But when you get to tackle your coach and have the scholarship presented to you by an Oscar nominee, it’s probably just a tad bit sweeter.

Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck emerged from the tunnel for the morning session of a two-a-day practice wearing a full uniform and pads. After gathering the team, the 35-year-old former wide receiver told his players that the evening practice session would be canceled if a player can stop him at the goal line. The only catch: Fleck gets to choose which player he goes head to head against.

The coach picked Kasey Carson, an undersized 5-foot-11, 208-pound walk-on linebacker who still got to play in eight games last season, picking up eight tackles. Carson predictably stopped his coach from going anywhere, getting the evening practice cleared away, but that wasn’t all Fleck had in store.

“This guy, look at how big he is,” Fleck said as he pulled Carson in. “He ain’t that big. But he exemplifies everything Western Michigan football’s all about.”

He then directed the players to the scoreboard, where a video message from billionaire and Western Michigan alumnus Alec Gores, along with Rocky himself Sylvester Stallone, awaited.

“The fact that you’re a walk-on and you accomplished this is extraordinary,” Stallone said. “Being a fighter is taking the blows, getting up, taking it to your opponent … finding that reserve in there that makes you one step better than you thought you can be.”

Stallone then made the big announcement, which prompted Carson's teammates to mob him and lift him up on their shoulders.

RELATED: Ball State walk-on gets surprised with scholarship during 'game show'

Check out the video made for the day below, a great reminder of how nice it is to see good things happen to deserving people.

This was not the first time Fleck has pulled this sort of stunt either, with him awarding scholarships to walk-ons Grant DePalma and Trevor Sweeney in dramatic fashion at different points last year.

College hockey: Princeton's Corey Andonovski tops this week's three stars

Here's a look at the three biggest stars from the past week of DI men's college ice hockey. Corey Andonovski led Princeton to a win and a tie in earning this week's top spot behind a four-goal, five-point series against St. Cloud State.
READ MORE

Longest overtime games in FBS college football history

LSU and Texas A&M joined an exclusive group with the Aggies' 74-72 win in seven-overtime thriller on Nov. 24, 2018. It became only the fifth game in FBS history to reach seven overtimes.
READ MORE

The best college sports traditions you've (maybe) never heard of

You've probably heard of Howard's Rock at Clemson and the dotting of the "i" at Ohio State. Here are some of the best college sports traditions that you've (maybe) never heard of.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners