“At first I was like, ‘I really don't want to do this,'” Chilcoat said. “But you can never turn down a scholarship and another chance to be with the guys in the locker room. It was just too good. It has definitely been a lot of fun.”
By the end of the following week, Chilcoat had rejoined OSU on the practice field — wearing a green quarterback no-contact jersey, rather than a scout team jersey. He has stayed after practice to get additional throws in and has been working extra to relearn the playbook.
“I knew of the offense (as a scout team player) and I knew of the calls and everything like that, but I didn't know all the in-depth things,” Chilcoat said. “And when I came out the first day, I was like, ‘Oh, I got that.' Then they are like, ‘OK, he is going to switch his route if it is press coverage and then you've got to know if it is cloud 3 (coverage)…'”
He's also had to juggle other parts of his schedule, reducing his 20 hours a week at the LASSO Center to 8-10 hours and fitting in labs for class when he has the time. And it's now a bit tougher to attend those club meetings and events that often take place at the same time as practice.
But last Saturday, Chilcoat's college career really made a full circle, going from the student section, to the broadcast booth, to back to the field in a matter of three home games. He wore No. 6 as he participated in pregame warm-ups, then had the sideline view during the Cowboys' last-minute 41-36 loss to Texas.
Chilcoat, who is a redshirt junior athletically, has asked Monken about continuing to play next spring and fall. But Monken has been honest in saying there won't be a spot for him after the season. This is a short-term solution for the Cowboys.
“In the spring, he can go hang out at Joe's,” Monken said. “…This is just for now. We need (him) now.”
Chilcoat is OK with that. He'll go back to being a regular student as he prepares to graduate and chase another dream of being a sports broadcaster. He also recently got engaged.
Still, the journey and decision for Chilcoat to put the broadcast booth on hold for the moment and come out of college football retirement has been worth it. Even if he never takes a real snap.
“Not only the scholarship, even though that is nice,” Chilcoat said. “But seriously, you just miss the guys whenever you are in it for three years and then coming out. … Just being with the guys and the camaraderie there. It's amazing.”