BYU football fans help out walk-ons

Mitch Mathews scores a touchdown (Elliott Miller)
Mitch Mathews scores a touchdown (Elliott Miller)

The BYU Touchdown Club provides much-needed and much-appreciated scholarships for walk-on football players starting at $1 per touchdown. This is a real commitment, and donations are given from a little under 300 members from all over the U.S. every time a BYU Cougar crosses into the end zone.

The club started in 2011, when a BYU donor presented the idea to athletic director Tom Holmoe. USC was sponsoring a similar project, and the BYU Athletic Administration modified the focus to support former football walk-ons who earn scholarships.

“It’s a really a powerful concept,” said Cougar Club Director Mike Middleton, who oversees the Touchdown Club. “A lot of people are helping by donating just a dollar or more.”

Donations to the Touchdown Club totaled $34,462 in 2013 and funded close to three full athletic grants-in-aid. This year the club has a goal of $50,000 to fund four scholarships.

Perhaps more than any other program in the nation, BYU has attracted and cultivated great walk-on players, including many who turned down scholarships from other schools just so they could come play for the Cougars.

In partnership with BYU Army ROTC, members of the Touchdown Club can also be seen on the field, firing the Cougar Battalion’s “George Q” Cannon at each home game throughout the season. Every touchdown not only means funding for a football player who needs it but an exciting blast that booms more energy into the stadium. Touchdown Club members also receive a popcorn bucket that can be refilled at each game at a concessions stand for only a dollar.

“It is a big incentive to donate for a big cause,” said Bridger Talbot, one of five Marriott School of Management interns helping to run the club this season.

Donating is easy; the club has a website that allows members to enter their pledge per touchdown and their credit card number so donations can be automatically withdrawn after each game.

Donations have allowed current players such as kicker Trevor Samson, linebacker Zac Stout and deep snapper Kevin O’Mary to play on scholarship for the BYU football team.

Visit the website to read more about the club or to sign up and support BYU football.

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