Thursday, December 28, 2017

One Who Got Away

A Los Angeles Times has a story about walk-ons for the USC football team begins and ends with the tale of Wyatt Schmidt, brother of former Dartmouth kicker Foley Schmidt. Wyatt originally committed to Dartmouth, where he would have served as a kicker for the Big Green. Instead he instead is a snapper and occasional holder for the Trojans, who play in the Cotton Bowl tomorrow. From the story:
Schmidt’s journey to the USC football locker room is arguably the strangest of the team’s two dozen walk-ons.
And . . .
A three-time state champion in hockey at Minnesota’s St. Thomas Academy, Schmidt gave up football to play junior hockey after high school in the hopes of earning a Division I scholarship as a defenseman. That didn’t happen, so he enrolled at USC, where it quickly became apparent that he would not win the kicking job.
“So I picked up holding,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior said. “And I also had to learn long snapping because they didn’t have a backup. I learned that here. I never snapped a day in my life before.”
And . . .
It’s a story of grit and perseverance that Schmidt acknowledges is similar to that of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, another undersized, moderately athletic walk-on, who played for Notre Dame.
They made a movie about Ruettiger.
“I might not run that 4.3 40,” Schmidt said. “I’ve always known the NFL wasn’t a thing for me. (But) it gave me an opportunity to play in a Rose Bowl, a Cotton Bowl.
“That’s something I’ll definitely remember forever.”
When we left Scituate, Mass., today at 5 a.m. it was four degrees. Here on Moose Mountain this morning? It was a balmy 14.6 below.