As always, the best part about being promoted from walk-on to scholarship player is the fact that, obviously, you no longer have to pay for school. But it's far from the only good part.
Running a close second is the part that comes before, when the head coach singles the player out, stands them up in front of the entire team and says: All the work you've been putting in in the dark, I see it. I notice it and I appreciate it. You are the embodiment of everything we want this program to be about, and because of that I'm going to reward your efforts and let your teammates mob you. Congratulations, you've earned it.
It was Gavin Everett's turn on Tuesday. A native of Center Grove, Ind., Everett signed with Western Illinois out of high school but transferred home a year later. He walked on to Indiana's roster in the spring of 2016, volunteering to take a season's worth of lumps on the scout team. He worked his way into the depth chart as a sophomore in 2017, appearing in nine games and registering seven tackles with half a sack and a forced fumble. Everett figures to be a contributor at defensive tackle for the Hooisers this fall, and he'll do so as a scholarship player.
"This is a tough man's drill," IU head coach Tom Allen says as Everett prepares to go man-on-man with an offensive lineman in front of the entire team. "It's about having toughness, it's about having heart. Unshakeable toughness... that is why Gavin Everett is getting a scholarship."