Staff Writer Robby Irgang reflects on being offered a preferred walk-on spot at the University of Kentucky.
“I will be attending the University of Kentucky.” Those are the words I will always remember saying. Growing up, I was a scrawny freckle faced kid. I was tall, lanky, and skinny. My parents always nodded their heads and smiled when I said I would play football in college. I remember as a kid always wishing I could play foo tball on TV. Now with the opportunity that I have been provided with, I will reach that goal. It was almost surreal getting the phone call that told me they wanted me to be a preferred walk-on at UK, a dream come true. I had been working my whole life for this one occasion playing sport after sport all for that moment.
I began playing soccer at two years old, basketball at six years old, and, the sport that would become beloved, football at age four. My entire life’s dreams and aspirations began with recreation leagues, and I guess the world is funny like that. My high school career really instilled a sense of work that it would require to play at the next level. All four years required focus and determination to roll out of bed every morning knowing I would get hit. My coaches also provided me with life lessons that related to football about growing up to be the best man possible.
Along this journey I kept thinking about a Michigan football player who graduated this year named Jordan Kovacs. He defied expectations by deciding to walk on and now is a top prospect in the NFL draft. I have always liked to do, or tried to do, what others told me I couldn’t. So when I was told I wasn’t big enough or strong enough to play division 1 football I took it to heart and worked my tail off. From that moment on I didn’t want anything to stop me. Once I get to UK though, the work won’t stop: it will get harder. I’m prepared for the work though, because now I have new goals. This is what they are (in order):
1) Weigh 235 lbs. by the end of this school year
2) EARN a scholarship
3) In four years make SEC first team all-conference
I will stay focused on God throughout my whole career and give everything back to him, because “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13. I hope I receive everyone’s support for the rest of my football career because I will need every bit of it. We are UK. Let’s go Big Blue Nation.
Photo: The Jessamine Journal