College's football purest moment: Three UVA walk-ons earn scholarships
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Brendan Farrell has kicked 13 field goals in his Virginia career, but none came with more pressure than a 48-yard attempt in practice on Wednesday.
"We're doing a two-minute drill and we got down there and the offense called a timeout and then typical defense goes in, they try to ice the kicker," Farrell said, "Coach Elliott comes in the huddle with only the 11 of us, no one else knew and goes 'alright guys, how about if my man Farrell makes this, he gets on scholarship' and everyone was kind of stunned for a second like what's going on. I won't repeat what I thought in my head."
Farrell's holder was another former walk-on in and former roommate Jared Rayman.
"At that my point my hear sank, I was like 'holy cow, I've got to get the best hold of my life," Rayman said, "It was pretty special because he only told the people in the huddle and so after he made a routine 50-yard field goal, I tackled him and I'm so happy, everyone is running around and everyone is like 'why did he just tackle him after a 49-yard field goal."
Since both arrived at UVA, Rayman and Farrell talked about that exact moment. A week earlier Rayman was in a similar position along with walk-on receiver Josh Clifford at the team's karaoke night.
"Honestly I was so nervous because I didn't want to sing in front of the team and funny enough the song we chose was "Tequila" by The Champs," Clifford said, "I was so nervous about that and then when he called us up there, well first we had to put a team name, so me and Jared did walk-on, walk-off just because we were both walk-ons and Coach Elliott was like "they're no longer walk-on, walk-off, two newest dudes on scholarship" and it just hit me is this real."
"I know it's cliche to say it didn't feel real, but I genuinely almost fell in a trance," Rayman said, "It was like nothing I've ever experienced before in my life. I heard everything and I just kind of zoned everything out. I was in a movie it felt like, it was an unreal experience."
Those moments are only made more special by the one that follows, a call to their parents. Lucky for Rayman, his dad got to witness the whole announcement thanks to his former high school coach at Pace Academy in Atlanta in Chris Slade.
"So Coach Slade who was my head coach in high school and has a great relationship with my father, he FaceTimed my dad," Rayman said, "My Dad watched the whole thing unfold and so of course I went right in the locker room, I called my dad, who was sitting on the couch with my mom, I FaceTimed them and he was already tearing up, my mom was crying."
The reaction was delayed a little for Clifford when he told his dad.
"So I called him initially," Clifford said, "Talked to him for probably five or ten minutes and then we hung up and he called me back an hour later and I could tell it finally hit him and he was like crying, just saying how much it meant to him and so proud of me."