Football team to host walk-on tryouts

Coming out of high school, many athletes fail to earn a scholarship but still have the burn and desire to compete athletically on the colligate level. For some, the opportunity to play at the college level never comes, but for Southeastern students, that opportunity will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Lions’ football head coach Ron Roberts and his staff are opening up tryouts for walk-ons at the Lions’ practice field located across from Strawberry Stadium at 3 p.m.

“We really want to take a look at the kids on our campus that think they can help our football program and give them the opportunity to be a part of a football program,” said Roberts. “I want them to understand as students, this is their football team, and you first have to give them the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Students interested in trying out must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, be in good academic standing with Southeastern and a full time student, provide documentation of appropriate medical insurance and have an appropriate medical physical prior to any workout.

“We’re looking for guys with at least a 2.5 GPA,” said Roberts. “I’m not saying that we wouldn’t look at guys who don’t have it, but we want guys who get it done in the classroom.”

According to Roberts, physical testing such as, 40-yard dashes, shuttles, agility drills and one on one position drills will be done, but it is not solely what students will be tested on.

“If there’s guys we’re interested in athletically, we have to get a chance to talk to them on an one-on-one basis to make sure they are what we’re looking for,” said Roberts. “I want guys committed to certain things, committed to getting a degree and committed to helping us.”

Roberts hopes to find guys who can get involved with the program immediately, and participate with the team in spring drills beginning March 5.

“A lot of the spring is going to be about how we expect things to be done, that part is an opportunity for a walk-on because you’re on a clean slate like everybody else,” said Roberts. “There’s really no pre-expectation of anyone out there.”  

According to www.NCAA.org, about 6.1 percent, or less than one in 16, of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution.

“There’s plenty of people walking the campus or walking the street that can play college football,” said Roberts.  “They just maybe weren’t given the opportunity or they didn’t take care of themselves academically at that time.”

The Lions have already signed 24 new players to the team for the 2012 season. Roberts and his staff have signed 10 new offensive players and 14 new defensive players, including eight defensive backs.