BISMARCK, N.D. - They're called preferred walk-on's. Heavily recruited players who do not receive scholarship money up front but they do get every opportunity to earn it during their college career.
Preferred walk-on's are one of the reason the Bison have been able to win 5-straight FCS National Championships.
Zach Kubas is going through it right now at North Dakota State. The Offensive Lineman from Dickinson Trinity passed up some scholarship opportunities to head to Fargo, "I was recruited by most of the local D-II schools plus NDSU and UND," Kubas explains, "The reason why I chose NDSU was because the program here has always come down to championships and winning and it just brings in a whole lot of recruits but i have a lot of family connections here.
My dad played here back in the early 90's so that was one of the main reasons why I chose here because I knew what I was getting out of this program."
His dad is Monte Kubas.
Zach says being a walk-on does not make him different from his Bison teammates.
"You're pretty much treated the same as every other scholarship player. We're give the same opportunity to succeed so that's the main thing is they have a huge history with walk-on's being successful here. With a couple of examples on the team and in the past that was pretty big too with my position coming here but the ability to have walk-on's becoming pretty big players in the program," said Zach.
A perfect example of that is Joe Haag. He's a rookie with the Indianapolis Colts.
Kubas says the transition from high school to the top of the FCS is a huge step.
"The biggest shock is how fast the game is. I think that's for a lot of guys who come in as freshman. They realize how fast everyone is and you;re playing against some of the best of the best from where ever they come from so it's kind of the big shock just the talent level but eventually you kind of get used to it, you kind of work your way into it so all of the older offensive lineman help out whenever they have a chance especially guys like Landon Lechler, Jack Plankers, Austin Kuhnert and Zack Johnson, those guys help a lot with getting the form and technique and how things are done here. They've been real helpful in my process," said Kubas.
Kubas and the Bison have a couple of days off of practice for the Thanksgiving holiday.
NDSU plays the winner of the Cal Poly vs. San Diego game on Dec. 3 at the Fargodome.