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The Tale of the Texas Tech Walk-On

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An in-depth look at how Talor Nunez went from a high school quarterback walk on to a scholarship player on the defensive line

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The mystique of a college walk-on is something that isn't well known, or well publicized, except when the player does something special. On National Signing Day, there may be a kid that was on the list for the program, and just isn't offered. Schools run out of scholarships, and some players just might not grab enough attention of recruiters. There is a bit of history with walk-ons at Tech, as you might have heard this season since the media just wouldn't quit talking about a certain player. There is the sentiment that Coach Kingsbury doesn't reward players that walk on with a scholarship after a good season.

Talor Nunez - DE, Midland Lee

Talor played as a quarterback for Midland Lee, graduating in 2012, earning 1st Team All-District. He was also a hurdler for Lee, and is one of those kids that you can't help but root for. Going into his senior season of high school he said his goal that year was just helping the team making the playoffs for the 1st time since 2009. He wasn't worried about stats, all that mattered was team wins. Talor is definitely a player you want on your team.

However, NSD came and went, and he didn't receive any offers, and said he felt like football was taken away from him. Afterwards, Tech coach Mike Smith came looking for him, and he walked on projected to be a safety, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He was redshirted his 1st year and moved to the defensive line, gaining weight, and starting to grab the attention of the coaches. In 2014 he was named Academic All-Big 12 and played in all 12 games, mainly on special teams and depth for the defensive line.

This past August, after a practice, Coach Kingsbury was showing the team some film highlights, and kept pointing out positive things that Talor had done, finishing with "On top of that, you're on scholarship". Coach Kingsbury appreciated the hard work that Talor had done, how he stuck with the team, and he rewarded him with the scholarship. This year, ESPN has credited Talor with 3 tackles. Congrats again to Talor, and the bottom line is if Coach doesn't give you a scholarship, there must be something wrong with you.