Gardner-Webb Football Player Surprised With Full Scholarship

Gardner-Webb Football Player Surprised With Full Scholarship. Kelli Bartik Catches Up With Tight End Deland Thomas.

BOILING SPRINGS, NC —  Deland Thomas can’t wait to open up the 2021 football season on Saturday.

“We love being the underdogs, we’re excited for Georgia Southern. I don’t think anybody would want to play anybody different coming into the season.”
The red-shirt sophomore says that he and his teammates are ready to shock the world.
Gardner-Webb’s starting tight end got quite the shock of his own during a team meeting this past summer when head coach Tre Lamb announced he was getting a full scholarship.
“Coach Lamb likes to throw in a surprise every once in a while and I was shocked,” Thomas said with a big smile. “It was so nice seeing the team congratulate me and stuff and be there for me.”
Hard work paid off for the walk-on from Rosman, North Carolina, who earned the starting job at tight end and a full ride.
Gardner-Webb head football coach Tre Lamb says moments like this are one of the most gratifying parts of his job. “Those are the reasons you get into this, to change kids’ lives, he’ll never forget that as long as he lives.
Thomas says a big financial burden has been lifted, and the first person he called was his mom. “It’s always been my dream to call my mom and tell her she doesn’t have to worry about it anymore. Money has been tight. It’s very special.”
A dream come true for the former walk-on.