You probably know by now that Coach Fleck has a long history of surprising walk-on players with scholarship offers. Sometimes it happens at practice. Sometimes Sylvester Stallone is involved. And sometimes the player finds out during an Easter egg hunt. The key thing is that it’s always a surprise and that Fleck and his staff always turn it into an event the player will remember.
Today the day to remember belongs to redshirt junior defensive lineman Sam Renner. Sam earned his scholly by graduating from the U in just 3 years (he’ll receive his degree this spring) with a BS in Applied Economics. He also earned it through his hard work on the practice field. The result? A chance to be surprised with a video scholarship offer from Coach Fleck in front of his team, friends, and family at Minnesota’s spring game!
Why we love spring football today: @Coach_Fleck paused Thursday's spring game to give walk-on defensive end Sam Renner a scholarship.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) April 12, 2018
Sam then got to soak in the moment with teammates and fans: pic.twitter.com/HcELbpRL8K
To set up the surprise, Coach Fleck called for a “video replay” after a fumble. Instead of a reply, the game staff rolled that highlight package and Coach Fleck’s message to Sam on the scoreboard for everyone to see. And Sam’s comment on BTN about needing to get back to the game? It was his QB pressure that forced Tanner Morgan to throw an incomplete pass on the last play of the game to seal the Gold team’s 24-20 victory. After the game, Coach Fleck had high praise for Sam during his post game press conference (7:15 minute mark).