Oklahoma State offensive line coach Charlie Dickey walked into the locker room on an August day and told the team they were going to watch a motivational video from Blake Jarwin.
“I was like, 'Oh.' Because I knew he was a walk-on here,” offensive lineman Jake Springfield said.” “So my heart started kind of going a little bit faster and then as soon as he said, 'I have one more thing,' and then he said my name and I just felt like the wind got knocked out of me. I was so excited. I just started crying. I started thinking about my family. Like. ‘I did it.’ That was my goal when I came here and I did it after one year, so that was amazing for me."
Scholarships aren’t often given to players such as Springfield. He only had three Division II offers coming out of high school.
Springfield attended a camp at OSU and was noticed by a few of the coaches.
“I committed to West Texas A&M and then the next day at lunch, (OSU) texted me and said (they) got a preferred walk-on offer,” Springfield said. “So I thought about it with my family and then I decided I would come here.”
Preferred walk-ons are guaranteed a roster spot but not much else. The path to a starting position surely would’ve been less competitive at West Texas A&M.
Springfield earned his scholarship and starting role through hard work on the practice field and in the film room, as he studied the players in front of him.
“I just have the utmost respect for guys like that that come in here and just work their butt off,” Wallace said. “To see things happen like that to guys like him . . . it’s just a real blessing.”
Now, Springfield has proven in games this year why he was awarded his scholarship.
Starting right tackle Hunter Anthony was lost in the first half of the season opener against Tulsa with an ankle injury, and Springfield has really filled that hole.
Through 170 snaps, he’s allowed zero sacks and only one quarterback hit at what’s arguably the second-most important position on the football field.
Springfield’s bet on himself to pass up on guaranteed scholarship money for uncertainty at OSU so he could live closer to his family has paid off.
Since the Tulsa game, Springfield has locked down the left side of the line and given OSU some continuity on the O-line.
“I wasn't really surprised, because we came in at halftime, we learned news that Hunter Anthony has gone down with an injury, so I was preparing at halftime in the locker room,” Springfield said. “The night before I was kind of just running images through my mind of me getting out there and playing, doing my assignment and doing my job and to just enjoy it.”