Sam Walker, a former Britballer, has been awarded a full scholarship to attend Knox College in Illinois playing American football. We set up a quick Zoom interview with Sam to discuss his move to the states!
Sam Walker got into football like most of us Brits, watching one game and falling in love with the sport. For Sam, it was a 2015 bout between the Eagles and Seahawks, but he remains a true Dolphins fan after it was his first-ever jersey. Sam originally played the sport for the Chorley Buccaneers before taking his talents to the Lancashire Wolverines and was planning to play for the Merseyside Nighthawks this coming season.
Sam plays running back and at 5’10 he says that he’s always had the speed but he’s been focused about working on his power for the past year or so. He’s wanting to combine the two elements to take his game to the next level and make his mark in America. I asked Sam if he considered going to a University in the UK to play American football and he said “The goal was always to try and get to America. I did my A-levels and no offers were coming through so that was disheartening and I did contemplate going to uni and playing it on the side. But then I went back to college and got a second degree and then received several offers.”
Knox College is a small college in Illinois that plays division three football in the Midwest Conference and Sam has received a fully-funded scholarship to play running back. When I asked Sam about what we could expect to see from him on the field he stated: “I don’t know whether I’ll be a starter, we’re supposed to have camp on the 12th of August, but there are six running backs and the coaches said they’ll try to rotate us all quite often.”
What everyone reading this wants to know is how Sam, just a regular Britballer from Lancashire, managed to leap across the pond, so I asked him “I was just emailing coaches throughout last year, like five times a week, emailing different universities. I have a Youtube channel and an Instagram page so they were able to see highlights and my training. Then Knox College got in touch and offered a full scholarship. I received other offers and two others that offered a partial scholarship.” It wasn’t just that Knox was willing to financially support Sam fully, he watched some game footage and they run the ball a lot and are a very offensive-minded team which is good for him being a running back.
Sam wanted to thank his trainer Russ Bury (pictured above), the Lancashire Wolverines, the Merseyside Nighthawks, the Chorley Buccaneers and anyone who has supported him along the way. He wanted to make sure all teams were able to keep going as many teams struggle to recruit enough players so he encourages any young players interested in the sport to give it a try. Here at Gridiron Hub, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Sam’s season and provide an update and interview for you all after his first year in the US. We wish Sam the best of luck and hope this interview inspires many other players to dream big!
Follow along with Gridiron Hub for more stories from the Britball community!