Of all the major sports, football is the one most often associated with the word "grind." Even if less games are played over a shorter time span than baseball, basketball and hockey, it's hard to argue that football players' bodies take the most direct punishment and the level of intensity is part of the reason why so few games are played relative to other leagues.
So when all the hard work pays off for a player, whether it's a win, the support of teammates or some other sort of validation, that can set off a feeling of elation. Walk-on players at any level always face an even bigger uphill climb than the peers they're trying to join, so when that validation comes in the form of a scholarship, the elation is beyond words.
Six Florida Gator walk-ons recently got this unique feeling.
Head coach Jim McElwain made the announcement at a full team meeting.
He was pretty coy with the reveal though.
Speaking generally about Gator players, he said these are people who "do what's right."
He then asked six walk-on players to come over and join him.
They were junior tight end Bair Diamond, senior wide receiver Roger Dixon, sophomore running back Case Harrison, sophomore defensive back Garrett Stephens, sophomore linebacker Steven Stipe and senior defensive lineman Dakota Wilson.