Central Texas football player earns collegiate scholarship the old-fashioned way: hard work and dedication
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas football player who graduated Crawford High School in 2019, but wasn’t recruited to play college football, walked on and made the practice squad at Sam Houston State University, was promoted to the travel squad, and has just been awarded a full scholarship.
Seth Kohlscheen, 21, says he’s fought like crazy to defy the traditional route to the collegiate field and making it there is a dream come true.
“I walked on the old-fashioned way through tryouts and everything,” Kohlscheen said. “They ended up taking a chance on me, giving me an opportunity to walk onto the team and I haven’t looked back since.”
The offensive lineman has had a ton of success in the short time he’s been a Bearkat, winning the FCS National Championship in 2020, the WAC and ASUN Conference Titles in 2020 and the WAC again in 2021.
It’s a dream for the center who started as a young child in Central Texas.
“Since I started playing football at five years old and, especially, since junior high, I really knew I wanted to play at a higher level,” Kohlscheen said.
“But I am 6 foot on the best of my life and 290 pounds,” he smiled. “I’m a super undersized offensive lineman. I’ve always had to overcome.”
Kohlscheen played first at Centex Pee Wee football league in Waco.
In Crawford, he played in middle school and was a member of the Pirate’s varsity squad during his sophomore through senior seasons.
As a sophomore, Kohlsheen’s team went to the state championship and lost by three points.
As a junior, they made it to the semifinal state championship game, and as a senior, his run ended in the playoffs before state.
Kohlscheen says getting noticed in a town the size of Crawford was tough.
“Our football team doesn’t get a ton of recognition even though we’re super successful,” he said.
“I would definitely say just football, growing up, it was my main passion and hobby and so just seeing highly successful players play on Saturday it just drove my passion to want to play college football.”
But when colleges didn’t come looking, Kohlscheen went looking for them.
The player visited Sam Houston State University in Huntsville because a friend was planning to attend there.
He loved the campus, he says, because the small-town vibe reminded him of home.
Kohlscheen wasn’t a preferred or invited walk-on, but on the day of tryouts in Spring of 2020, he showed up to give it his best shot and ended up making the practice squad.
He remained on the practice squad through the fall of 2021 as the seasons were disrupted by COVID.
With a lot of hard work, the Crawford product moved from the practice squad to the travel squad this season, and on August 19th, received the news that would change his life.
“During fall camp in August, my coach delivered some great news to me which was Sam was going to put me on a full scholarship which is something every walk-on dreams about,” he said.
Kohlsheen played his first college game on September 3rd against A&M at Kyle field.
His family was among the 100,000 plus fans who packed the historic stadium to watch.
“My first snaps in college was against A&M,” Kohlshceen said. “We lost but it was an amazing experience playing in front of 100,000 fans so definitely a change in scenery from Crawford.”
Kohlscheen is a redshirt sophomore meaning he still has two years of eligibility remaining after this season, which he attends to use.
He is majoring in kinesiology with a minor in health and hopes to be a strength and conditioning coach.
But for now, he’s enjoying the ride as the Bearkats start the season 1-2 with a move next season to Conference USA.
“I just want to thank Sam for giving me the opportunity,” he said. “Thank you to Coach Bassett and the coaching staff here for just putting faith and trust in me to put me on full scholarship. It’s something I just can’t put into words, just how grateful and blessed I am.”
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