Stanford senior walk-on inside linebacker Craig Jones was asked at the end of the Cardinal practice on Thursday to help break the team down. But before he could do it, head coach David Shaw had one more announcement: Jones was officially on full-scholarship.
Much like military dads surprising their children during first pitches, or parents watching their children hit home runs while being interviewed on live TV, seeing walk-ons get scholarships is one of those types of heartwarming sports videos that never really gets old. The sight of Jones getting mobbed by his teammates as he becomes overwhelmed with emotion — knowing all of his hard work has finally paid off — is a pretty inspirational sight to see.
Jones earned his scholarship by playing in 11 games as a junior for the Cardinal, as well as being named the team’s outstanding special teams scout player as a sophomore two seasons ago.
Props go out to Stanford for not trying to get too clever with it and attach Jones’ scholarship to a ball in an onside kicking drill, or creating an elaborate prank alleging that the coach’s office was broken into. The simpler, the better in this instance.