Vandy walk-on Marc Panu awarded full scholarship
(backslash)What began as a routine team meeting turned into a
surreal moment for one Vanderbilt football player.
After praising fullback Marc Panu for his effort in practice the
day before, coach James Franklin stunned his fourth-year walk-on by
awarding him a full scholarship on Wednesday.
Immediately, the packed auditorium erupted into cheers as Panu’s
teammates rose to congratulate him in a moment that was caught on
tape and posted on Vanderbilt’s website Friday.
”You’re talking about a guy who just came off knee surgery,”
Franklin said to his team before unloading the news. ”You’re
talking about a guy who keeps his mouth shut and loves being a part
of this team. Watch him here (as Panu delivers a block) – finding a
way to bring value to the team.
”That’s why I’m so proud to let Marc Panu know that he’s got a
The announcement shocked Panu, who dropped his head into his
hands and slouched back into his chair in disbelief. The
21-year-old then slowly made his way down to the front of the
stage, receiving congratulatory pats on the back from teammates
before embracing Franklin.
A former All-State linebacker from Georgia, he has played in 19
games the last two years, primarily on special teams. Panu, whose
parents are from the Congo and Trinidad and Tobago, is pursuing a
degree in chemical engineering.