Aug. 17, 2012
Watch Panu and Franklin's Interview on FOX News
The remarkable Marc Panu story continues to grow, with the fourth-year Vanderbilt fullback and Head Coach James Franklin appearing Friday morning with the hosts of FOX News' "Fox and Friends" show.
Panu's story of receiving a full-ride scholarship after participating as a walk-on with the Commodores for the last three years has become an online sensation in the last week. More than 330,000 people have viewed a 90-second YouTube video that captured Franklin's announcement of Panu's scholarship.
So what was going through Panu's head when Franklin pointed him out on practice film before unveiling the surprise in front of the team?
"At first when I saw the video I had no idea what was going on," Panu told FOX News co-host Brian Kilmeade. "I thought maybe (Franklin) was just trying to motivate the team to go hard. When he told me I had a scholarship, I was overwhelmed with two feelings: joy and shock at the same time. I really had no idea what to think. I was immensely happy at the same time."
Panu, a chemical engineering major, admitted he once had thoughts if being a walk-on was worth the work, but said he wanted to prove himself and finish what he started.
"I love the game," Panu added. "It's an unbelievable opportunity that millions of people would love to play SEC football everywhere, whether they're getting paid or not. So I will take advantage of the opportunity."
Franklin praised Panu for his continued dedication to the program, and said the fullback earned the moment. To the head coach, the decision was a no-brainer.
"It's about giving people opportunities and Marc's done a tremendous job for us. The perfect example of have a positive attitude, have tremendous work ethic, and good things will happen to you," Franklin said.
"It's shown what college football's all about: a great opportunity, a great kid and a great story at a tremendous institution like Vanderbilt. "