The sacrifice and dedication put in by non-scholarship athletes in college athletics are often for the love of the game, but sometimes that dedication to the game pays off.
It certainly has for walk-on wide receiver Gavin Thomson.
Pitt announced that Thomson, a redshirt junior from Pittsburgh Central Catholic, was officially put on scholarship this morning, offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. shared with a post on Twitter.
— Frank Cignetti Jr. (@FrankCignetti) August 26, 2022
Thomson hasn’t been a huge contributor for Pitt during his career, hauling in two receptions in the 2020 season-opener against Austin Peay, but he played in five games last season as a special teamer. And throughout the spring and summer camps, Thomson impressed the coaching enough to officially earn a scholarship opportunity.
After walking onto the team before the 2019 season, redshirting as a freshman, Thomson’s two seasons of work — playing in 11 games over the last two seasons as a reserve and special teamer — paid off with a legitimate opportunity.
With a crowded wide receiving corps, Thomson won’t see too much playing time, but the 6-foot, 185-pound wideout is clearly a top reserve option in the receiving corps.
A year ago today, walk-on defensive lineman Chris Maloney was put on scholarship during a team meeting, so it’s clear that Aug. 26 is a big day annually for walk-ons at Pitt.