I love this story of Luke Staton chasing his dream of playing football for Purdue.
In a late Hail Mary, Purdue was able to convince Staton to give up a scholarship to Illinois State to commit to Purdue.
I don’t know how many high school kids who are named to all-star teams that are willing to give up a guaranteed scholarship for a chance to be a walk-on. Staton, however, couldn’t pass up the chance to fight for the chance to play football as a Boilermaker.
Getting a local player that the Journal & Courier named their defensive player of the year to fight for a walk-on spot is yet another huge coup for Jeff Brohm and Nick Nolt.
“I trust my ability to go out there and make a difference in two or three years,” Staton told The Journal & Courier. “I think that as long as I work hard, I have a chance to be out there.”
One of the many interesting twists to this news is that although Staton was an elite high school linebacker, at 240 pounds, he has great size to play tight end, too.
Staton had 23 career receptions in high school and seven of those catches were touchdowns.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if in a couple years, Purdue says, ‘Why don’t you play tight end?’ and he’s 240 pounds,” his high school coach, Shane Fry, said. “He has the frame to wear that kind of weight.”
Often times when a player signs their scholarship offer they can exhale. Teenagers can relax and soak up the fact that they made it and realized one of their dreams. These elite athletes get the chance to party and celebrate with their friends this major accomplishment. This isn’t the case for Staton whose work is about to start as he battles for a walk-on spot. One of the great parts of this story is that Staton knows his hustle is far from over. Despite being so close to his dream of playing for Purdue, Staton is aware that he has to work his tail off in order to just make the team as a walk-on. Then, he has to work his tail off in order to secure a scholarship at some point down the road.
Hard work doesn’t scare off Staton. In fact, he reached out to his former high school teammate, Jonah Williams, a former West Lafayette linebacker and a tight end who is now a Purdue walk-on, to learn what Williams had to do in order to secure a walk-on position with Purdue.
Williams’ answer: work harder than you ever have.
From all reports, Staton is ready to head that advice and leave nothing in the tank as he continues to chase his dream of playing for Purdue.