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Oklahoma State football: Corey Bennett gets his 'SportsCenter' moment

Walk-on running back was rewarded with a good chunk of playing time against Savannah State, and he took advantage, rushing for 94 yards and a touchdown.
By Gina Mizell Published: September 4, 2012

— Corey Bennett woke up Sunday morning and flipped on ESPN.

He watched a player in an orange No. 20 jersey take a delayed handoff, bounce to the outside and charge into the left corner of the end zone.

He was watching himself on “SportsCenter.”

“It's just surreal,” Bennett said. “I don't know how you prepare for that.”

Bennett's 10-yard touchdown run was the final score in Oklahoma State's 84-0 demolition of Savannah State on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium. In an otherwise lopsided — awful, really — college football game, Bennett's personal highlight illustrated perhaps the only positive that came out of that contest.

Bennett, a redshirt freshman from Choctaw, is the Cowboys' fifth-string running back who had never played in college game until Saturday night. He was one of at least 95 Cowboys to see the field against Savannah State, and one of at least 19 walk-ons.

“That's the one good part of us being ahead is to let everybody play,” coach Mike Gundy said.

Bennett originally came to OSU because he was considering a career as a veterinarian. And since he was an All-District player at Choctaw, he decided to attend an open walk-on tryout in the fall of his freshman year.

He was one of three or four players who made the Cowboy squad.

Though his school wasn't paid for and he never got in a game last season, he was still a part of OSU's magical run to the Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory. He said he'll never forget the feeling when the fans stormed the field around the team after the Cowboys' convincing 44-10 Bedlam win.

“We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work and don't get the credit,” Bennett said. “But I think it's worth it, just being able to experience everything and be a part of the program.”

That's the goal for Gundy, who said he's seen his walk-on program grow considerably since OSU began its steady climb to prominence in 2009. He knows part of that is the desire to be a part of a winning program, but he also hopes it's because word spreads that being a non-scholarship player is still an enjoyable experience.

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