The Walk-On: Inside Northwestern's Rise From Cellar Dweller to Big Ten Champ

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

Matt Stewart

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The Walk-On details the true story of Matt Stewart, who overcame the struggles of being a walk-on football player to earn a full ride scholarship in the mid-1990's while at the same time his team, the Wildcats, captured the hearts of the nation by going from one of the worst teams in college football to winning the Big Ten championship and earning a berth in the Rose Bowl.



Short Summary

Northwestern football owns the longest losing streak in college football. This inside look by a former player describes how Coach Gary Barnett turned a group of losers into winners, and how that walk-on mirrored the team's success and defied the odds by earning a full ride scholarship.


Evanston, IL, right outside Chicago

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rags to Riches

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message, Coming of Age, Happy Ending

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Matt Stewart

Age: 18

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive, Insecure, Perseverance, Skillful, Adventurous, Complex, Educated, Engaging, Selfless, Strong Moral Code, Aspiring, Underdog, Naive, Faithful, Honorable, Masculine, Religious, Confident

Additional Character Details

Name: Gary Barnett

Age: 48

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Aggressive, Aspiring, Blunt, Educated, Empathetic, Unapologetic, Adventurous, Complex, Heroic, Outspoken, Perseverance, Visionary, Underdog, Confident, Engaging, Faithful, Honorable, Skillful, Strong Moral Code, Badass, Decisive, Leader, Masculine

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Male leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Year Published: 2012

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed