The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES, Iowa – Handing out a scholarship to a walk-on who has dedicated his life to Iowa State football is a perk of the job for head football coach Paul Rhoads.
He received the opportunity to reward a pair of former walk-ons for their hard work and service today when he announced that senior DB/N Drake Ferch and junior tight end Ben Boesen have been awarded scholarships effective immediately.
Ferch, a native of State Center, Iowa, was one of many deserving candidates for a scholarship. His rise into ISU depth chart at the nickel slot certainly helped Rhoads with his decision, but his leadership and toughness was what sealed the deal.
Ferch is in his third year in the Cyclone program and is anticipated to play an increased role for the ISU defense in 2014. After a standout two-year career at Iowa Western C.C., where he earned all-conference honors twice and led the Midwest Conference in interceptions in 2011 (8), Ferch joined the Cyclones as a preferred walk-on in 2012.
Ferch redshirted in his first season, and then became one of ISU’s top performers on special teams in 2013, earning a letter. He showed Cyclone fans a glimpse of his ability in the Spring Game when recorded eight tackles and a pass breakup.
Boesen, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, will be one of ISU’s prime targets at the tight end spot. The former Dowling Catholic star is currently in his fourth year with the Cyclone program after earning INA Class 4A First-Team All-State honors as a prep.
Boesen started one game in 2013 before a knee injury forced him to the sideline. He caught two passes for nine yards in limited action in 2013.
In 2012, Boesen was ISU’s Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Year.
Walk-ons Placed On Scholarship In The Rhoads Era
Joel Zitek, 2009
Mike O’Connell, 2009
Jake Williams, 2009
Taylor Mansfield, 2010
Jeff Woody, 2010
Preston Kaufman, 2010
Sean Smith, 2010
Matt Morton, 2010
Dan Kuehl, 2010
Drew Mitchell, 2010
Reid Branderhorst, 2011
Edwin Arceo, 2013
Gage Shaeffer, 2013
Justin Coleman, 2013
Spencer Thornton, 2014
Wes Boyer, 2014
Drake Ferch, 2014
Ben Boesen, 2014