WVSports – Looking at the impact Walk-On has had for West Virginia football over the years

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Granted this is far from a complete list, it would be nearly impossible. But WVSports.com looks at a handful of running back players who have made an impact with the West Virginia football program over the years.

This list is designed for players who began their careers as walk-ons, even if they were later hired on scholarship.

Brahms is the gold-standard for walk-ons with the West Virginia Mountaineers football program.

Offensive Lineman Rich Brahm – 1990–93

Perhaps the most decorated name on this list, Braham was a product of University High School and went on to West Virginia where he became a standout offensive lineman. Braham made 37 starts at left tackle for the Mountaineers during his career and was a senior captain during his final season. The epitome of toughness, Braham has battled numerous injuries along the way to a career in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fullback Owen Schmidt — 2005-07

Schmidt just wanted an opportunity — any chance to show what he could do at the next level after playing in Wisconsin River Falls, a D-III program. He found that in West Virginia where he not only proved he could play at this level but became an integral part for the Mountaineers from 2005–07. During his career he rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns, while adding 288 receiving yards and two scores. And those totals don’t even include the holes he opened up for Pat White and Steve Slaton.

LB Naji Goode – 2008–11

Goode moved from Cleveland to West Virginia and had to earn his role during his first couple seasons, but played a much bigger role in his final two seasons. Goode appeared in 56 games during his career and started at Sam and then linebacker for the final two seasons. Goode finished his career with 142 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions before playing for several NFL teams. His last was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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WR Zach Abraham – 1991–94

The Triadelphia native walked-on at West Virginia and while it took him some time to settle into only one game during his first two years, he ramped things up in his third season with 10 catches for 174 yards and a score. Saw it. But it was his final year that made him a legend because of a successful campaign with 41 catches for 752 yards and 6 touchdowns, including a 60-yard touchdown run to defeat Pitt in the final seconds after the Mountaineers blew the in 1994. were involved. ,

K Paul Woodside – 1981–84

Woodside is another member of the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, but his career originally began as a walk-on from Falls Church, Virginia. In his four-year career, Woodside rewrote the West Virginia kicking record book, setting school records for scoring (323 points), field goals (74) and field attempted (93). He also made 79.6 percent of his field goal attempts. A first-team All-American, he will always be remembered for many things, including his fourth quarter field goal to the Mountaineers over Penn State in 1984.


LB Scott Gyorko – 2001–04

A university product who walked into West Virginia after receiving no offers out of high school and definitely made the most of his college experience. Gyorko began his career as a backup but moved into a starting role, where he finished his four-year career with 222 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 3 forced fumbles.

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LB Ben Collins – 1998–2002

Collins came to West Virginia as a walk-on after a stellar career at North Marion, where he was known more for his offensive talents. At Morgantown he would play defense and after developing his body found himself as a starter with 98 tackles and 4 tackles for loss as well as one interception. He was also the player who fumbled the game-winning pass attempt by Pittsburgh in the 2002 Brawl.

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FB Mo Fofana – 2001–03

Entered the program as a walk-on from Maryland and eventually earned a scholarship for his efforts he impressed as a blocker throughout his career. Fofana only touched the ball five times for 28 yards and one touchdown during his time at Morgantown, but earned the respect and trust of many because of his blocking.


WR Grantis Bell – 1985–88

Bell was initially recruited from South Florida as a walk-on, so he makes the list, although he was placed on scholarship early in his career. He played all four years for the Mountaineers catching 46 passes for 819 yards and six touchdowns, including a touchdown grab in the Fiesta Bowl.


LB Justin Arndt – 2013–16

Arndt began his career as a walk-on with Martinsburg and played on special teams and reserve for his first three years with the Mountaineers. But in his final season, Arndt elevated his game and earned a starting role, where he posted 84 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

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DB Rich Rodriguez – 1982–84

Rodriguez is known much more for what happened after his playing days after becoming a head coach, but he spent three years on the field for the Mountaineers and made a significant play in the 1984 Penn State game, recording an interception. He finished his career with 53 tackles and 3 picks. Rodriguez would go on to coach the Mountaineers before controversially leaving for Michigan.


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