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Arizona football: Wildcats defensive lineman Justin Belknap earns a scholarship


arizona-wildcats-justin-belknap-transfer-montana-grizzlies-fcs-2020-medical-redshirt Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One thing that stood out about the 2016 Arizona Wildcats football season was the fact that walk-ons ended up being the most impactful defensive linemen.

Well, one of them is no longer a walk-on as it appears Justin Belknap has earned himself a scholarship based on his mother’s Twitter.

Belknap was a starter at defensive end throughout the 2016 season, and ended up recording 16 tackles, a sack, and two pass breakups.

One of the main reasons that Belknap wanted to walk on at Arizona was because of head coach Rich Rodriguez.

"Coach Rodriguez was a walk-on himself, so that was big for me for coming here, because I knew they knew how to treat walk-ons better than most schools," Belknap told me during fall camp last year. "And the whole recruiting process of coach (Bill) Kirelawich when he was here and Coach (Vince) Amey. They were just two coaches that were very supportive of me and my game."

All throughout fall camp, Belknap caught the eye of just about everyone, and one of the elder statesman had some lofty praise for the redshirt freshman.

"More than just a high motor, he’s got a heart," senior defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono said of his teammate. "He’s undersized, but we’re all undersized on D-line compared to other defensive lines around the country, but with Belknap, he plays with a chip on his shoulder every down and he gives it his all. Even if he messes up he’s going 100 miles per hour, and that’s what I love about Belky."

That effort and flying around the field has paid off in a big way now, so congrats to Belknap on the well-deserved scholarship.