Vanderbilt scholarship video takes off on YouTube

Call it a Rudy moment for the digital age. A Vanderbilt University walk-on has been rewarded for his hard work with a full year scholarship—and the whole announcement has been caught on YouTube.

Marc Panu, a fourth-year fullback on the Vanderbilt football team, was sitting in the middle of a preseason film session Aug. 8 when head coach James Franklin turned the room’s attention onto Panu’s play.

“You want to watch a guy who is trying to find his role on this team?” Franklin asked his team. “I want you to focus on Panu—not who he’s hitting, but watch how he’s blocking.”

The coach then went on to show a series of clips in which the fullback finds a tackler and moves him out of the play, complimenting Panu for getting low and staying aggressive.

Then, with the film still rolling, Franklin picks up a piece of paper and announces to the team: “That’s why I’m so proud to let Marc Panu know that he’s got a full scholarship.”

The camera flips over to the fullback, who, relieved, reclines in his chair before his teammates jump up to congratulate him. Shortly after, with his 50-plus teammates clapping along, Panu walks down and gives his coach a hug.

Vanderbilt’s athletic department posted the video onto its YouTube channel Friday. Since going up, the video has racked up more than 130,000 views.

“He’s a great example to everybody in the room,” Franklin said of Panu. “If you have a great attitude and compete in everything you do; if you’re willing to sacrifice for others, good things happen.”

Photo via YouTube

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.