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From Walk-On to Front and Center
Important to any college program are walk-ons, who not only make a difference in aiding a team’s depth and continuity, but can also earn a scholarship and bid for significant playing time.
Maryland has utilized the walk-on program with great success.
Take the case of Chad Scott. After playing two seasons at Towson in 1993 and 1994, Scott chose to walk on at Maryland, uninvited. By the end of his first semester on campus, Scott was awarded a scholarship and became a Terrapin co-captain for his senior year in 1996. The rest is history. Scott was a first-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997 and played for the three-time NFL Champion New England Patriots.
Scott exemplifies the ultimate walk-on scenario. However, every season at Maryland, there are walk-on players who find their niche and contribute greatly to the Terrapins’ program. Since the scholarship reductions, walk-on players have become an even more vital component to the success of the Terps.
In the last few seasons, the Terps have produced a number of walk-ons who are playing in the NFL.
Linebacker Moise Fokou (2006-08) and tight end Joey Haynos (2004-07) were each walk-ons when they arrived at Maryland and they now play on Sunday.
A two-year starter for the Terps, Fokou was a seventh-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft. He went to play in all 16 games as a rookie, starting four games at linebacker. Fokou started 11 games for the Eagles in 2010, posting 51 tackles.
Haynos, who was Maryland’s second-leading receiver in 2006 and 2007, played the last three seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
One of the most successful walk-ons in school history is Madieu Williams (2002-03).
A transfer from Towson, Williams was the first Terrapin picked in the 2003 NFL Draft, going in the second round to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was one of the top defensive rookies in the NFL in 2004, finishing with 103 tackles, including two sacks, and three interceptions as a starting safety. He signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2008 and is in his eighth NFL season.
Williams, the 2010 NFL Man of the Year, is also deeply involved in community service. He donated $2 million to Maryland’s school of public health in 2009 and is involved with numerous endeavors through the Madieu Williams Foundation.
Players who walked on at Maryland in the recent years and made significant contributions:
Dan Ennis (2005-06), PK
Moise Fokou (2006-08), LB
Joey Haynos (2004-07), TE
David Holloway (2004-06), LB
Scott McBrien (2002-03), QB
Ryan McDonald (2003-05), OL
Dean Muhtadi (2007-08), OL
Paul Pinegar (2007-10), OL