When Adam Crossett came to Missouri to play, he did with only the guarantee of a tryout.
Crossett, a redshirt freshman, played well enough, though, to earn a spot on the Tigers’ traveling roster as a kicker, primarily handling kickoffs.
Making a Missouri team as a walk-on isn’t a new phenomenon for the Crossett family. Carrie, Adam’s older sister, walked on to the Missouri soccer team in 2001 and earned a scholarship for 2002.
Even though they play different sports, Adam Crossett said he can appreciate the magnitude of his sister’s accomplishment.
“I think it’s unfair to compare soccer and football in terms of the chance you have to walk on and play,” Adam said. “I don’t really see how they’re that comparable, but at the same time, it showed me it can be done. She worked extremely hard to get herself to that point.
“She’s got a tremendous work ethic. If I could come close to her work ethic, I’d think I’d be doing all right.”
The one constant between the two is the amount of effort used to earn their spots. Carrie Crossett said she knew her brother’s effort deserved recognition.
“It shows that hard work pays off,” she said. “I saw how hard he has worked to prepare to play here, and it has kind of showed him that your goals are within reach if you work hard.”
Adam began kicking as a junior at Liberty High. Since then Crossett, 6 feet 2 and 210 pounds, said he has added strength and size.
“I attribute a lot of it to the weight program here,” he said. “I just got a lot bigger and stronger. Obviously, all that helps any physical activity you do.”
Because of the Liberty’s excellent offense, he spent most of time kicking extra points and kickoffs.
Although he lacked experience, the Tigers showed interest. Truman State pursued him the most, but he decided to take his chances at a bigger school.
“Mizzou was about the only Division I school that I, at least, had interest from,” he said. “I had some Division II offers, but I could see myself going to Mizzou as a school. Where I thought the football program was headed, I thought it was going to be a good place to be.”
Aiding his decision to walk on was what he called the “inside scoop” about the environment surrounding the athletic department from Carrie. He liked what he heard about the atmosphere and decided to walk on.
He entered the fall practices this season with a good chance to win the job but faltered.
“Last summer I felt like I was doing all right, and I came into camp and don’t know what happened,” Crossett said. “I lost my timing. I lost a lot of rhythm, just did not perform well at all.”
Seeing her brother not win the starting kicker position didn’t disappoint Carrie too much.
“I know it was a dream of his to play here,” Carrie Crossett said. “He grew up coming to the MU football games and everything. Once he started kicking in high school, right away, he wanted to kick at a Division I school and that school he wanted to be MU.”
Carrie didn’t decide immediately to walk on at Missouri. She spent her first two years of college at Lee-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. When she decided to return to Missouri, she contacted the coaching staff and told them she was interested in walking on.
At first Crossett, who is working on her Master’s degree in education, was unable to try out because arrangements to play for the coaches fell through. The Tigers, though, needed another player for an intra-squad preseason scrimmage and called Crossett. She played out of position in the scrimmage but earned a spot.
Crossett, a predominantly right-footed player, previously had played midfielder and forward, but the coaches wanted her to play the left defender position. She felt out of place at first but came to embrace the move, starting every game of the 2001 season. Before the 2002 season began, the Tigers gave her a scholarship, and she was named captain.
“I really worked hard,” she said. “I felt it was something, I don’t want to say I deserved, but that was my ultimate goal, to gain a scholarship, just succeed at Mizzou.”