STILLWATER, Okla. — Ry Schneider won’t have to worry about money anymore.
It’s just one less thing on the mind of the Oklahoma State redshirt junior offensive lineman.
Schneider was put on scholarship recently, finding out after paying a visit to Rod Johnson’s office. Johnson, OSU’s assistant director of football operations, informed the 2018 team walk-on of the year he was no longer a walk-on.
“As soon as that happened and I left his office, I called my mom and called my dad,” Schneider said. “I went and saw Coach (Charlie) Dickey and talked to him about it, too.”
Schneider, a Minco native who stepped up under pressure last season, has been a key member of this offensive line group for years. For most of his first few seasons, he was providing quality depth for a razor thin group.
Last year, when Johnny Wilson went down with an ankle injury prior to the West Virginia game, Schneider was called upon and stood his ground. The Cowboys won that game, clinching a bowl berth in the process.
With Wilson healthy and the offensive line at full strength, Schneider doesn’t quite know where he will fit in this season. But with the security blanket of a scholarship, he can focus purely on schoolwork – where he was second-team All Big 12 last year – and football.
“It’s super relieving,” Schneider said. “Worrying about money, you never know if you are going to have enough money or will be able to go out and eat. Be able to do anything really and you never know when that money is going to stop.
“Really, as a college football athlete, you can’t get a job, so it puts a lot of stress on my parents because I have to rely on them for money. Just to not have to ask my mom for any more money, even my grandparents have had to help me out, it is just a blessing.”
The 6-3, 320-pound product of Caddo County knows how important it was for his community last year even getting on the field. To now be not only a Division I football player, but one on scholarship makes a huge difference.
Minco, about 20 miles north of Chickasha, doesn’t have much history with players of Schneider’s caliber, so he is going to continue to take up the mantle.
“It is a blessing. I can only thank God for where he’s put me at and what he has helped me accomplish. Coming from Minco, not a lot of people go to big-time schools. For me to be able to do that and get on scholarship was a goal of mine,” Schneider said.
As far as football goes, Schneider is ready to go wherever Dickey – who is in his first year with the Cowboys after a long tenure at Kansas State – tells him to.
“Honestly, I hope it is the best offensive line group that we have had in a while,” Schneider said. “You look in the past and we have had a lot of great offensive lines. We hope to eventually get to that spot. We want to be the best in the country and in the Big 12, hopefully that is how our season goes and that we are one of those top dogs.”
Schneider, who could see himself possibly playing some right guard this season if he earns some starts, knows that whoever is back under center at quarterback, the offensive line will take care of them.
“No matter who they decide to put back there, I am going to try to do my job and protect them and block for the running backs,” Schneider said. “It doesn’t really matter who they put back there, we have so much talent on this team. We are going to do great no matter what, so it is going to come down to me doing my job and getting that done.”
Wherever he ends up on the football field, Schneider is just happy to know that he has achieved his dream of a scholarship. Playing time and starts will come, but not having to deal with financial issues of being a walk-on will only help him in his mission.
“One of my goals was to get put on scholarship, so that was a big stepping stone,” Schneider said. “Then I want to start and I really want to help this team do something that we haven’t done in a while. I want to reach not only my goals, but also everyone else’s goals.”
Bishop writes for Stillwater News Press, a CNHI News Service publication.