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UMass Commit: Aaron Oberst, Notes

UMass has added to its list of impressive Bay State walk-ons.

Aaron Oberst an offensive and defensive lineman from Phillips Academy in Andover, has committed to UMass as a walk-on, according to ESPN Boston‘s Brendan Hall. The 6’4, 245-pound athlete has experience at offensive line, defensive end and tight end.

Back when Oberst played for Dover-Sherborne High School, he was drawing interest from a number of FCS programs, including Bucknell, Colgate and Fordham, according to Rivals.

Here is the updated list of walk-ons who have committed to UMass.

  • Nate Crutchfield, QB: Montclair High School (N.J)
  • Klysmann Afonso, WR: Jireh Prep (N.C.)
  • Garrett FitzGerald, OL: Catholic Memorial High School (Mass.)/Saint Anslem College (N.H.)
  • Logan Laurent, K/P: Exeter High School (N.H.)
  • Joe Tyo, OL/DL: Dennis-Yarmouth High School (Mass)
  • DuVaughn Beckford, DB: Nantucket High School (Mass)/Assumption College (Mass)
  • Nick Valles, RB: Danvers High School (Mass)
  • Michael Dowe, Jr., DL: Cromwell High School (Conn)/Western New England University
  • Dillon Tighe, WR: Arundel High School (Md.)
  • Markus Colin, K: Allentown High School (N.J.)
  • Andrew Ellis, LB: Barnstable High School (Mass)
  • Costa Toubekis, OL: Dexter High School (Mass)
  • Will Giggi, OL: Medfield High School (Mass)
  • Aaron Oberst, OL/DL: Phillips Academy (Mass)

Jamal Custis, a 2014 wide receiver from Philadelphia, has picked up a UMass offer according to RivalsShawn Brown. Custis is 6’6, and Brown reported that a number of BCS schools are starting to poke around. Jamal’s brother, Sharif Custis, signed with UMass on Feb. 6. … D’Cota Dixon, a 2014 defensive back from New Smyrna Beach in Florida, has picked up a UMass offer, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Dixon also has offers from Ball State, North Carolina, N.C. State and Vanderbilt, according to Rivals. … Sean Bowens, a linebacker from Treasure Coast High School in Florda, has picked up a UMass offer, according to 247 Sports. … K.J. Ford, a defensive tackle from South Carolina, has an offer from UMass, according to 247 Sports. He also has an offer from N.C. State.

Follow Bob on twitter: @BobMcGovernJr


  1. JCS says:

    It’s good to get some quality walk-ons in the program. It is hard recruiting to determine how an 18 or 19 year old will develop and pan out and many quality players go under the radar. Hopefully a couple of these guys will be able to contribute in time. As a former walk-on I root for them and given a chance quite a few will play and help, even at the BCS programs.

  2. umass1991 says:

    Since he has experience on the OL and as a TE, would be great if they used him at the goal line like the Pats did with Vrabel

  3. NJUMASS08 says:

    More bodies is always a good thing. You never know who’s going to turn out to be a star.

    1. SJGMoney says:

      HAvign more bodies for practice etc is huge. Anyone that saw the spring game last year saw how little depth there was. There was a reason the first half was Alumni vs current players. At the high tempo Coach wants his offense to practice at you need plenty of fresh bodies to go against.

  4. ms says:

    All athletes–whether scholarship, preferred walk-on, or walk-on–must apply to the university and be accepted. The university does maintain minimum standards (SAT and weighted GPA based on rigor of course selection in high school) and can recommend that a student take certain classes to make up for any deficiencies. Coaches do have some influence, and can militate on behalf of a potential student-athlete, especially if the student is being offered a scholarship, but ultimately the standards are maintained by the university. Occasionally, a student may have to enroll in a PG year at a prep school or a junior college to raise their GPA. But at some universities, the standards are obviated because the recruit is too highly prized. Yhose universities generally have good academic support systems in place. I don’t know if UMass or BC, for example (or flagship institutions such as Cal, UNC, UVA, Michigan), would compromise the standards for even a four-star recruit who lacks sufficient preparation for success in higher education.

  5. Andy says:

    I wouldn’t mind a quick refresher course in “walkonology” Is it true that these kids must apply to UMass with proper academic qualifications, be accepted and agree to attend UMass as any other student would….THEN have a chance to show what they can do on the field? Further clarification on this would be great.

    1. Larry says:

      The short answer is Yes but the reality is far different.

      Look at Joey Colton and prior to him Jonathan Hernandez. Colton was a true walk on who came out in the summer and worked his way up to get playing time and has done a great job in taking advantage of hs chances. Also, he came from a parochial HS and went to a CT prep school so academically he should be able to do well in the classroom. Hernandez was a prefered walk on. Redshirted his first year and played special teams as a redshirt freshman. He got some carries as a soph -and if what I have heard was correct- earned a scholarship for the last two years at UMass.

      Going to get on the soapbox for a minute.

      Players can try out as Walk ons and the coaching staff will use them as they see fit. The position choice might not be what they player wants and the staff might not need much at they position they want to play. Preferred Walk ons come with some expectations both for themselves and from the staff. They absolutely had better be able to do the course work. No coach worth his salt anywhere wants troublesome walk ons to be a part of the program. If they are then usually they are not on board for too long.

      As for compromising academic or admission standards for walk ons? No, that pretty much does not happen anywhere and if it does it is a pretty good way to recruit trouble.

      For those in the know the overwhelming majority of players coming on board now are coming not only from good challenging athletic programs but from schools where academics are the first priority – Always.

      To see that UMass may – and hopefully may not and all of this is untrue – be interested in players from dubious programs like as an example East Christian Academy in Elkton MD(formerly Red Lion Academy in Delaware) is scary. Flat out the worst thing I have seen or heard associated with this program. For me this was worse than anything the airbag faculty senate could do or say.

      This is a flat out bandit school. No accreditation anywhere. The school has about 50 students all of whom play football. They played only 4 games in 2012. Players coming and going at random. ALL COURSES taken online. This is supposed to be HS and for too many getting up and going to school is challenging enough but these “student/athletes” are so mature and well educated they can do satisfactory school work online?

      Are you kidding? Is this some sort of a joke.

      Now the media can “report” players are offered and all but – thankfully – it seems our team is looking for not only good football players but players who can do the school work and those who are good people too.

      Take a moment and do not even look at the newcomers names list but instead look at the schools they are coming from. Overall a good bunch of schools with some of them coming from excellent schools.

      If the program was going to cut corners we would have never seen some of the suspensions we did last season. For some of those who were suspended for a while to later come back and express thanks to the media for being suspended since graduating is important is important to them.

      Well that should say a lot about the program priorities being put forward. Also just looking at some of those reported to be coming on board most recently and then were no longer a part of the recruiting class. The reasons are prety obvious – lusually this involves earning less than good grades or getting into trouble. Not trying to knock on anyone but if you do not have the grades then playing college football might not be for you.

      The list of those joining the team is a good one. Other programs utilize their walk on program to “grow” more players. Others do not or treat walk ons like they are next to nothing.

      For what it is worth this is another example of player development and as long as the program stays away from pursuing players from Bandit Schools then we should be ok.

      Larry sec 109

  6. Umike says:

    I really do like how Charley is giving these New England kids a shot.

    1. ms says:

      He’d be crazy not to. Many Massachusetts boys fly under the proverbial national radar. Consider the Massachusetts players who stepped up and proved themselves this past season. Molnar knows what he’s doing. Local players will create interest, both from the media and through ticket sales.

      1. sleepy sheep says:

        100% agreed. Even as walk ons, it creates a little buzz in a small town and perhaps translates into a few more applications and tickets sold.

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