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In 2012, quarterback Matt McGloin became the all-time leader in career passing touchdowns, with 45, at Penn State University(1). McGloin started his college career as a walk-on(2).

In collegiate history, noteably at a Division I FBS level, has there been a walk-on QB or player that became the all-time leader in a major statistical category (TDs, yards, sacks, interceptions, etc.) at his university?

NOTE: Clay Matthews, now a linebacker with the Green Bay Packers, was a walk-on at the University of Southern California.

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    I dont know about leading statistical categorys but I know Jordy Nelson was a walkon at k-state and Aaron Rodgers started at a junior college because of lack of scholarship offers. Michael Strahan, Terrell Owens, and Tony Romo all atleast started out outside the division 1 ranks because of no scholarship offers – Maniac Dec 10 '12 at 13:27
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    @Maniac ahh, very interesting. Cam Newton even honed his skills at a junior college before playing at Auburn (backed Tim Tebow up in Florida before his jr. college days). – user527 Dec 10 '12 at 14:26
  • oh yes that is another one that I forgot about! That is interesting, On the pro side there are people like James Harrison who went undrafted but developed into a great linebacker or Tom Brady as a 6th round draft choice... the list goes on :) – Maniac Dec 10 '12 at 20:37
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    Cam Newton reportedly went to a Jr. College not to hone his skills but because he was involved in a cheating scandal. Just sayin.' – Devin Apr 19 '13 at 22:41
  • Newton and Rodgers are NOT walk-ons. Newton got in trouble so went to Juco. He was the most heavily recruited athlete at Auburn - so the exact opposite of a walk-on. Rodgers also went to Juco because he didn't like the schools that gave him offers. A walk-on should be someone that didn't get a D-1 offer not someone who turned down others because he wanted to go to a school that was out of athletic scholarships. Also players with good grades often get great academic scholarships at big schools allowing schools to use team scholarships on the dumber kids. – Coach-D Oct 11 '14 at 19:43
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There are a number of football players who have excelled at their respective universities after beginning their careers as walk-ons. Such players include Colt Brennan, who after being thrown out of the University of Colorado joined Hawaii as a walk-on. By the time of his graduation he had thrown for 131 TDs and in excess of 14000 yards.

Another great walk-on was JJ Watt at Wisconsin. Though I am unsure if he owns any school records he certainly has proved himself at the NFL level.

CBS sports has covered this issue for the BCS era http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/21669854

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