Say what you will about Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck, but one thing is for certain: He loves rewarding walk-ons with scholarships. There is never going to be a time when Fleck simply calls a walk-on player into his office to privately award them a scholarship. He is going to make it as memorable as possible for that player.
For former specialist Justin Juenemman, his surprise scholarship came courtesy of a patient he frequently visited at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, wielding a t-shirt cannon during a team meeting.
For defensive lineman Sam Renner, his scholarship was delivered during the spring game, when Fleck’s call for a “video replay” turned into a heartwarming message.
Last night, it was walk-on linebacker Bailey Schoenfelder’s turn. And as per usual, Fleck got creative, enlisting the help of a U.S. Marine who parachuted onto the field at TCF Bank Stadium during practice with a special message for Bailey. Watch the rest below:
Congrats to @schoenyb on earning this scholarship!! ELITE “HOW” and leadership go a long way in our Culture!! We’re lucky to have you on this team, Bailey!! I’m proud of ya & I love ya!! Thanks to all the service people who helped make this a special moment!! #RTB #HYPRR #SkiUMah pic.twitter.com/K3XamugIU1— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) August 10, 2018
These videos, and the gestures themselves, will never get old.
UPDATE: We’ve seen people online wondering why Bailey wasn’t able to enlist like he wanted. He was prevented from doing so because of a “minor hearing issue that was a result of working with machinery.” HATS OFF to Bailey for making a different dream come true instead!