Friday, November 20, 2009

Mommas, let your sons grow up to be L-snappers

You don’t have to be particularly athletic; you simply have to be able to snap the football directly to the holder or punter squatting or standing more than a few yards behind. And you need to do so consistently and accurately.

The guys who do can find themselves with college scholarships and later, in a few lucky cases, in the NFL (see Jason Kyle).

I talk to coach after coach on the high school level who sees long-snapping as a key to the advancement of one of his players. This morning it was York Comprehensive High’s Luke Niggard.

We were adding his players to the database when Niggard brought up senior Michael Dover, a 6-foot, 180-pound TE. Now, I can tell you there is minimal demand for 6-foot TEs in college, but Niggard had more to say.

“He’s also a long-snapper and that’s his forte,” the coach said. “Newberry is looking at him seriously for that. Colleges are always looking for good long snappers.”

Which means guys, so what if you run a 5.4-second 40-yard dash? Long-snapping requires no running at all, and the scholarship it may bring is just as valuable.

--Stan Olson

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