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Pelini expects walk-ons to be contributors

The start of spring practice doesn't come for another 12 days, which gives FAU coaches a little more time to spend recruiting for the Owls' 2012 recruiting class.

FAU announced the signing of 29 recruits back on Feb. 1. Since then FAU coaches have started looking toward the 2013 recruiting class, but they still have an eye toward this summer, with hopes of bringing in about 15 preferred walk-ons.

“I have this vision of the walk-on program being similar to the one we had in Nebraska,” FAU coach Carl Pelini said. “It's not just a matter of picking anyone who wants to walk on. It's a matter of recruiting walk-ons that can come here with the understanding that if they do break into the line-up and become contributors they can be put on scholarship.”

To start the process, Pelini and his staff went back to their recruiting notes to discuss players they recruited but ultimately didn't offer scholarships. They started with about 70 high school players and whittled that number down to about 20.

FAU coaches should begin offering some of those players preferred walk-on status in the coming days. NCAA rules allow for up to 85 football scholarships, but 105 players can be part of fall camp. The players Pelini and company will target in the coming days will go a long way toward bridging that gap.

Expect most, if not all, of the preferred walk-ons to come from the state of Florida. If qualified, they will be able to take advantage of the Florida Bright Futures program, which rewards high school academic achievement with scholarship money for college.

Contrary to rumors that I have completely fabricated, soon to be released Peyton Manning is not considering becoming an FAU preferred walk-on.

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March 06, 2012

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