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Former walk-on WR Kai Money ends Texas football career

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Money was one of the feel-good stories in the 2020 season when he caught a touchdown pass against UTEP and then earned a scholarship.

Rice v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas Longhorns junior wide receiver Kai Money is stepping away from football after a remarkable journey from playing quarterback at a private school in Brownsville to switching to wide receiver to earning a walk-on spot in a tryout, to catching a touchdown pass to earning a scholarship with the Longhorns.

A 6’0, 179-pounder who racked up more than 13.000 yards and 55 touchdowns as a quarterback at St. Joseph Academy, Money only received interest from Division III schools as a member of the 2018 recruiting class, as well as a walk-on offer from Houston. But Money wanted to play for the Longhorns and after spending time training with former Texas wide receiver Jaxon Shipley in 2019, he was able to earn a walk-on spot in a tryout.

Money didn’t play during that season, but took advantage of his opportunities in the season opener against UTEP in 2020, catching four passes for 26 yards, including a touchdown in the first half that made him a fan favorite. It was the first touchdown scored by a player who joined the team as a walk on since fullback Ahmard Hall had a touchdown catch against Texas A&M in 2005.

Over the rest of the 2020 season, Money continued to find playing time in position coach Andre Coleman’s rotation, finishing the season with nine catches for 71 yards, and received a scholarship after a practice at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in an emotional moment in November.

When new head coach Steve Sarkisian arrived and tightened the wide receiver rotation, Money only appeared in three games, making one catch for seven yards.

Since Money is a fourth-year student at Texas majoring in biology and walk ons don’t typically maintain scholarships as graduate students, his Longhorns career is now over, but as he pointed out, he bet on himself and overcame the odds in doing so.