Michigan awards scholarships to 7 walk-ons during 'wild' team meeting (with player capsules)
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan coach Brady Hoke called seven players to the front of the team's Schembechler Hall meeting room before Tuesday's practice.
Those guys had no idea what would come next: Scholarships.
Nathan Brink, Joey Burzynski, Jareth Glanda, Paul Gyarmati, Mike Kwiatkowski, Joe Reynolds and Steve Wilson are no longer walk-ons.
"(Hoke) called those guys to the front, and we were all like, 'Man, what's going on?'" senior cornerback J.T. Floyd said. "Then he announced the news, and that's when the team meeting room erupted. It was bananas in there. Everybody was just high-fiving each other, smiling. The whole team poured down in the front. It was great, man. It was great.
"Guys were jumping up and down, because those guys are an instrumental part of our team. They help us out in every facet of the game, with the special teams, offense, defense, scout team. Those guys are great guys."
Hoke said he chose those players based on their experience and levels of contribution to the team. He said it was a "wild" time.
"It's an expensive dealing for some of them," Hoke said. "Burzynski's from Carlsbad, Calif. Out of state. You can imagine the price that he's paying to be a guy who loves Michigan and wants to be part of Michigan football."
A quick look at the seven former walk-ons:
Nathan Brink: A junior defensive lineman from Holland who rose out of anonymity during last year's fall camp. He's consistently been credited by coaches for his sound technique, consistency and coachability. He played in 11 games games last year, starting one, and is expected to play a greater role this year. He's second on the depth chart at both defensive tackle and strong-side end.
Joey Burzynski: The sophomore offensive lineman began receiving attention for his practice performances late last season, then broke through with a standout spring camp this year. He started the spring game at left guard. He since has lost that job battle to Elliott Mealer, but is the backup at both guard positions. He provides depth at a position lacking it.
Jareth Glanda: Long-snappers rarely become household names, but the junior walk-on burst to the forefront during last season's Sugar Bowl when he caught a deflected pass on a fake field-goal attempt. It led to a field goal, and Michigan went on to win 23-20 in overtime.
Paul Gyarmati: The redshirt senior played in all 13 games last year on special teams, and in one as a reserve fullback. He's listed third on this year's depth chart at fullback.
Mike Kwiatkowski: The redshirt senior played in two games last year at tight end, but is expected to play a more significant role this year. He is listed second on the depth chart at tight end, and has been noted by coaches for his grasp of the offense and improvement in the passing game.
Joe Reynolds: The junior played in one game at receiver last year, and two on special teams. He's known for being a dynamic teammate. He also teams with quarterback Jack Kennedy in the musical act "JDK and Rey," whose song "Hundred Level" will play at the home opener against Air Force.
Steve Wilson: The senior quarterback has not appeared in a game at Michigan.