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September 8, 2010

Scholarship caught Korslin off guard

MADISON - When Rob Korslin received a text saying he needed to go up to head coach Bret Bielema's office, thoughts of wrongdoing instantly went through his head.

"I thought I was in trouble," Korslin said. "He shut the door so I thought I was really busted. I was running through my mind whether I had done anything.

"It was pretty cool."

Instead of being chastised for poor play on the field or decision making off it, Korslin was treated to rather nice surprise of a full scholarship. That will help to ease the burden of being texted into the head coach's office.

"I was just elated, shocked, relieved and excited," Korslin said. "I guess I wasn't expecting it that day, but I know that's what I was working towards. I didn't think it was impossible, but just getting called in that day (was great)."

Korslin, a big 6-foot-4, 264-pound tight end, has been through quite a bit during is time on campus. Whether it was the constant monotony of scout team work or a tragedy back home, things haven't always been easy for Korslin during his time as a Badger.

So naturally, when he dialed his mother up after learning he was awarded a scholarship excitement was abound.

"She was screaming on the phone and just really happy," Korslin said. "My little brothers were excited. It's kind of reaching a goal that I'd set out about three or four years ago. My family had been a really big part of it.

"It was definitely cool."

Always feeling a part of the team even though he was never a scholarship player, Korslin is just another in a long line of walk-ons turned scholarship players. And that is something he's excited to be a part of.

"I've definitely heard that some places treat walk-ons differently," Korslin said. "But this place is amazing. It's definitely not like that. The guys on the team, you can't tell. We've got walk-ons in the NFL and not a lot of programs can say that. It's not like it's one in a million, it happens pretty consistently.

"It just goes to show that even if you're not a highly rated guy if you come in and work hard good things can happen."

Out of high school, Korslin really only portrayed serious interest in Princeton as that was the only offer he had received. After touring that campus, though, Korslin thought the opportunity to walk-on at Wisconsin was just too much to pass up.

"I had taken a couple of visits out there and really liked it," Korslin said. "I guess Wisconsin was my dream. It was down to those two and I took a visit here and just loved it."

Other than having his schooling paid for and knowing he's one of the 85 guys awarded a scholarship, life for Korslin is going to be much of the same. He's still going to rely on the hard work that got him to where he is today and he's going to keep finding ways to improve his game.

"We have such a great tradition here with walk-ons," Korslin said. "My thought when I was a walk on was that I have to give 110 percent. If the guys were giving 100 percent I'd have to give 110 percent. Really, the thing that surprised me this week was that my mindset really hasn't changed.

"I'm still working just as hard as I can. Everyone on the football team is on the football team."


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