Two months after becoming the first Texas Longhorns walk on to score a touchdown since Ahmard Hall in 2005, sophomore wide receive Kai Money was put on scholarship this week.
As the Longhorns have in the past, head coach Tom Herman called Money’s father, Phillip, who played quarterback at Rice, to enlist his help in making the announcement to the 6’0, 183-pound Brownsville product.
“That’s awesome,” Phillip Money told Herman. “You’ve made his life, man, right there — that’s what he’s always wanted. He’s just going to be ecstatic.”
The Moneys delivered the news to their son in a recorded video that played on the video screen at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
“I’m just so thankful for you guys,” Money told his teammates. “Man. I’m super appreciative of all of you. To see my mom and dad on the big screen telling me that I got a scholarship, it means the world to me, but it wouldn’t be possible without you guys. Coach Coleman, where are you? Thank you, man. I wouldn’t be here without you. I mean that — all of us in the receivers room are so thankful for you. Coach Yurcich, thank you. Coach Herman, of course. Love you guys. Hook ‘em.”
A prolific quarterback in high school at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Money threw 91 touchdown passes and ran for 1,000 yards in four straight seasons, but didn’t draw any recruiting interest beyond some FCS and Division II schools.
So Money decided to try to walk on at Texas his dream school. Since he wasn’t offered a preferred walk-on spot, he had to try out. After training for a semester with former Texas receiver Jaxon Shipley, Money earned a spot on the roster in February 2019.
This year, he got his first opportunity to contribute thanks to injuries at the slot receiver position — sophomore Jake Smith missed time early in the season with a hamstring injury and redshirt freshman Jordan Whittington injured his knee in the first half of the season opener, then suffered another injury against Oklahoma after returning. Graduate transfer Brenden Schooler moved inside to help the position, but suffered a thigh contusion that has limited his ability to contribute. Freshman Kelvontay Dixon has dealt with several injuries of his own and fellow freshman Dajon Harrison opted out this season.
As a result, Money has appeared in every game this season, including receiving significant playing time against Texas Tech and West Virginia after his touchdown catch against UTEP. He has eight catches for 65 yards this year and one carry for nine yards.
“I wish you guys could see the work that Kai Money puts in every single day,” senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger said after the UTEP game. “What an incredible team guy, always puts the team before himself. For that to pay off today, I couldn’t be happier for him.”