Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cal Poly gets another local walk-on

The walk-on detractors aren't going to like this one.

Cal Poly sent out a news release announcing football commitments from three more players today, including former Hancock and Atascadero standout defensive back Neil Tidwell, who was admitted as an invited walk-on.

Good for Tidwell. I didn't see him play football for the Greyhounds, but I remember him concurrently playing baseball and running track as a senior at Atascadero. I'm still wowed by that.

But that's not all. Cal Poly's release didn't include Mission Prep's George Johnson, who said he's been invited to walk-on to the football team next fall.

"That's what I've always wanted to do since freshman year," said Johnson, who said Cal Poly coaches have already told him he has a secure spot on the team.

Johnson had 46 catches for 982 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior for Mission Prep. He averaged 122.8 yards per game.

Albeit at a small school, Johnson put up some numbers. He's relatively inexperienced at receiver and safety after having switched from quarterback during his junior year.

But he's very athletic and has good body control. I've personally seen him make some spectacular grabs.

Can he do it at Poly? We'll see. The Mustangs also have former SLO star Kevin Martin, who walked on last fall. It'll be interesting to see if either can settle into a role on the team.


Aaron Crutchfield said...

I saw Todwell play football in his senior year, including rushing for a school-record 351 yards against St. Joseph. He was certainly talented, when he was on the field. Unfortunately, he got hurt a lot. He missed five games or so of his senior season in football, starting with the game after the one in which he set the record (but he still rushed for more than 900 yards that year). He also missed a few games at the end of his junior season after breaking his leg against Righetti. Once he did come back from the injury his senior season, it took a bit to get back on track. If he hadn't been hurt, I think he could have realistically made an attempt at 2,000 yards. Instead, Rickey Taylor ran for 900-plus and Josh Van Alfen ran for 700-plus.

Once again, early deadlines screw me over. My sports section has to be done and dropped on the server ready to print at 2 p.m. The press release came in at 3 p.m.

Aaron Crutchfield said...

An "edit" function here would be nice to allow me to fix the typo in Tidwell's last name.

Anonymous said...

Good to see Cal Poly building a solid team of walk-ons and haf committed scholarship athletes. Maybe they can win Half the games this year and save money walking to the games.

This is not bagging the the players, It's not their fault for wanting to play at Poly.

But Poly should compensate these players somehow.

Anon E. Muss said...

NCAA rules limit the number of scholarships allowed (and that number is lower at the I-AA, er, FCS level). Compensating the players any other way would probably result in those players losing their eligibility to play college football and forfeiture of games they played in.

Anonymous said...

Are any of the spring athletes getting scholarships?

Anonymous said...

I heard that kenny sugishita, who throws for the track team at AG, is talking to UNC at the moment and Maddie Franklin has already accepted a scholarship to throw at UCSB. Justin Morrow, who is also a thrower for AG, is possibly going to Fresno State next year and is planning on being a walk on for the track team.