Seven former Indiana walk-ons have been awarded scholarships for the 2012 season, according to an Indiana athletics release Thursday.
Offensive guard Collin Rahrig and safety Alexander Webb were actually granted scholarships after spring practice. Both earned starts last season. Running backs Isaiah Roundtree and David Blackwell (a Bloomington South graduate), defensive end John Lahinen, linebacker Jake Michalek and safety Jake Zupancic were also granted scholarships.
The release from IU athletics follows.
SEVEN WALK-ONS EARN SCHOLARSHIPS
Seven additional student-athletes have been awarded scholarships for the 2012-13 Indiana Football season, announced Kevin Wilson on Thursday.
At the conclusion of spring practice and after a positive impact on the 2011 season, Collin Rahrig and Alexander Webb earned scholarships for the upcoming season. With the arrival of fall camp, five more Hoosiers were awarded scholarships; a group that includes: David Blackwell, John Laihinen, Jake Michalek, Isaiah Roundtree and Jake Zupancic.
Wilson and his coaching staff continue to build a program on not only scholarship players, but also top-notch walk-ons. As a former walk-on himself, Wilson has now seen 11 walk-ons earn scholarships in his two years at IU after giving four scholarships last season. Graduated players Dre Muhammad and Brandon McGhee, as well as current Hoosiers Greg Heban and Nick Freeland, each earned scholarships at the start of the 2011-12 school year. Additional walk-on-turned-scholarship-athletes on the Hoosier coaching staff include: Mike Ekeler (Kansas State) and Carter Whitson (Oklahoma).
Rahrig is a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman from South Bend. After playing in the final 10 games (including eight starts) of the 2011 campaign, he was named Indiana’s Most Outstanding Walk-On Player.
Fifth-year senior safety Alexander Webb from Mequon, Wis., played in eight games, including two starts, a season ago. He posted a career-high 11 tackles and intercepted a pass at Ohio State, a contest in which he broke his arm in the second quarter.
Defensive end John Laihinen, also a native of Mequon, Wis., linebacker Jake Michalek from Midlothian, Ill., and Indianapolis products running back Isaiah Roundtree and safety Jake Zupancic are all redshirt sophomores.
Laihinen was tabbed Indiana’s Defensive Scout Player of the Year for 2011 while Michalek was a three-time scout player of the week and saw action in all 12 games. Michalek is a second generation Hoosier athlete following his father Tony’s footsteps who played football at IU in the early ‘80s.
Zupancic, one of six Cathedral High School products on the team, was also a multiple recipient of scout team player of the week recognition last season. His father, Tom, is a former vice president with the Indianapolis Colts.
Roundtree hails from Lawrence Central High, joining fellow LCHS alumni Tre Roberson and Wes Rogers on the 2012 roster. While sitting out the ’11 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules, Roundtree compiled five scout player of the week accolades and was ultimately named the Offensive Scout Player of the Year.
Bloomington’s own David Blackwell has also been awarded a scholarship. The redshirt junior from Bloomington High School South toted his first career rush at Michigan State last season, a five-yard gain.
Indiana Football is amidst fall camp 2012 with the season opener less than a month away when the Indiana State Sycamores come to Bloomington for an 8 pm contest on Sept. 1. Check out CAMP CENTRAL and follow @IUCoachWilson and @HoosierFootball on Twitter for all the latest news on IU Football.