SEC Network's latest SEC Storied documentary, No Experience Required, tells the story of the Texas A&M "12th Man" kickoff coverage team made up entirely of walk-on players.
Coming off a losing season in 1982 in his first year as Texas A&M's head football coach, Jackie Sherrill sought to light a fire under his team and connect to the passion of the student body. Appealing to the long-held Aggie tradition of the "12th Man" ready to answer the call to play if needed, Sherrill held open tryouts in 1983, seeking to create a kickoff coverage team featuring all non-scholarship walk-ons.
They soon became a nationwide sensation as one of the top kickoff coverage units in college football, and continued to enjoy success over the next seven seasons, igniting a new tradition that continues today at Texas A&M with a "12th Man" walk-on player each season. Among those interviewed for the film were 22 members of those 12th Man kickoff coverage teams of the 1980s, along with Sherrill, Gary Kubiak, Von Miller and Ray Childress.
The documentary was directed by Kenan K. Holley.
"The story of the 12th Man kickoff team is the tale of a group of individuals that drew together to exude toughness in the face of a challenge," said Holley. "The experience of playing football in Texas doesn't leave you. For me, having played high school football there, it informs so many of the principles I carry with me to this day. Getting the opportunity, with ESPN Films, to direct this documentary has been one of the thrills of my career."