VSU Sees Value of Walk-Ons

Valdosta, GA - Chas Matthews transferred to Valdosta State as a sophomore without being offered a scholarship on the football team.

"I've always been a persistent kind of guy and I've always accepted challenges," Matthews said. "And it was a challenge for me to be able to get on this field and try to earn my spot and that's exactly what I did."

Matthews walked on to VSU as a linebacker-tight end hybrid. The 24-year-old originally signed with Army out of high school, but found it hard to manage his time. He became academically ineligible and thought he could create a second chance on his own.

"You're gonna be on the scout team your first year and I was and I busted my butt and it showed," he said.

Head Coach David Dean says walk-on players are sometimes the most valuable on the team. Four years ago, defensive end Travis Harrison was a walk-on who earned all-conference honors.

"We only have 36 scholarships that we can give and that's not a lot of numbers going around," Dean said. "So you have to rely on walk-ons to come in here and be valuable assets to your football team."

Matthews has missed only two games for the Blazers in the past two years.

"It was a long road but I finally got it. I'm very happy with it.," he said.

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