Naked Bootlegger

June 17th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Incredible.  2012 is indeed the Year of the Longsnapper.  

Should I worry about our 2-deep at long-snapper in the coming years if we don't have more than 1 scholarship allocated to this position?!


June 17th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

In fact, that almost begs to be the title of a book or movie. I am curious how it came to be, however. Is it just a case of "monkey see, monkey do", or has something else changed or shifted that phase of the game?

Edward Khil

June 17th, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

It's interesting (to me) that the most respected sites for rating longsnappers just so happen to be run by the same businesses that train longsnappers. Conflict of interest, anyone?

Methinks there should be an entirely impartial site devoted to longsnapper recruiting rankings, much like ESPN, that can dispassionately rank longnappers based on whether or not they're going to an SEC school.

And this Gabriel Miller is ranked #3 by both websites linked above, while Snappy Snapniewski is # 2 according to and #14 according to the other one. (And Rubio's #1 guy, Cole Mazza, who's 'Bama-bound, was not even ranked on the OP's link.) Did Miller attend both organizations' camps equally, while Snappy ("The Snapper") Snapniewski completely ignored Kphl's Kicking?

I submit that ol' Snap is actually the #1 longsnapper in the nation; that's why Hoke offered him before the other schools started scrambling like dominoes. He (Snap) just didn't attend Rubio's camp as often as 'Bama's guy.

As always, follow the longsnapping money.

[Side-note: I just saw that there's a longsnapper named Robert Longwell. Someone needs to snap him up, quick.


June 17th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

A little known fact is that this current rush to grab snappers started at the national coaching meeting earlier this year...when then Arkansas Razorback HC Bobby Petrino was heard making a comment about "how I need to get me some more snapper"...


June 17th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

If I knew long-snappers would start getting scholarship offers at BCS schools 6 years ago, I would have been all over that. If only I had a time machine...

[insert Napoleon Dynamite quotes below]


June 17th, 2012 at 1:34 PM ^

90% of the time I give college and pro coaches credit for knowing way more than I and thus I defer to them, other than a few strategy mistakes in game theory that have been well covered in this blog. But not here. This new trend of full schollys for long snappers is deranged, and I think part of a new coaching fad to keep up with the coaches leading this trend. We all know that copying the successful is rampant in coaching, but this trend is batshit. Just as anyone that drafts a kicker in the NFL in the 1st round is nuts, no matter if it's Jason Hansen or Sebastian Janakowski, because you can literally get a Pro Bowl kicker on the waiver wire, this is even worse. Much worse. Because at least a kicker can get you points. A punter can pin a team way back in the field. But a LS? On their best day, they make what is successful most of the time anyway, uh, successful. 


June 17th, 2012 at 1:46 PM ^

I disagree 100%. Take Michigan for example. With the job Hoke's been doing recruiting wise, we don't have any glaring holes, and most of our remaining spots that we'd like to improve are being addressed (ie Treadwell). The rest of the spots can be used for depth/luxury purposes, and one of those luxuries can be taking a top line LS.

To put it another way, as you said, LSers are succesful most of the time. But when they're not, the results can be catastrophic. If we ever lost a game because of a botched snap, everyone would be freaking out, saying "We're Michigan fergodsakes!! Why can't we get a decent longsnapper?" Well this is how. Find a great one, and give him a scholarship to make sure he comes here. If this is what it takes to prevent any future meltdowns or losses, I'm good with it.


June 17th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

Yes, long snappers are important, but why do we think our scholarship long snapper is never going to make a mistake?  Our highly touted scholarship punter dropped the ball against Ohio.  Heck, even Charles Woodson occasionally got burned for a TD (rare, but it happened).

This kid will be an upgrade, but will not guarantee 100% successful snaps.



June 17th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

It will not guarantee 100% successful snaps, but it will give us a better shot at it. And the difference between a longsnapper and those other positions is that the long snapper doesn't have to deal with any outside factors. It's just him and the ball. The only variable is basically wind, which I've never seen make that large a difference on a snap before. There's no one rushing at him while he's making the snap. There's no receiver he has to cover. He just has to snap the ball.

And your point about Hagerup just helps prove my point. Look how big a deal that was, it almost cost us the game vs OSU. Imagine if our punter wasn't Hagerup but just a random walk-on whose not as good as Hagerup. Maybe we have more dropped snaps during the season.


June 17th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

I believe that long snappers do in fact have blocking assignments, and they do help cover the kick in punting situations - the LS almost immediately gets into a blocking position upon the snap. They certainly do deal with external variables beyond the wind. One of the reasons that teams want the snap to occur in under a second (Sypniewski has executed it in 0.69 seconds, which I believe is in the neighborhood of what they look for in the NFL for speed) stems from the guys trying to foil your field goal, extra point or punt. 

There is  a lot more that goes into this decision than I think you're recognizing, and as others have said, they are human as well. 


June 17th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

For all you guys hating on Long Snappers, it used to be my go to pick up line with the ladies. Just tell them I was the back up LS at Michigan, a high stakes job where I was one botched 4th down snap away from entering the game, and not much else was necessary to make the night a success. And then came the night when I hit on George Morales' girlfriend....


June 17th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

We have must bigger fish to fry. For example, WHY DO WE HAVE NO COMMITMENTS FOR '14 IT'S ALREADY JUNE ALREADY WTF HOKE...

/running out of things to complain about


June 17th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

whether having spot-on long snapping is important.  All it takes is one sloppy snap on a punt or place kick to cost you a game or a championship.  I think the real question is,  is  it SO difficult a skill that someone (it seems) has to have a special long-snapping gene to really do it well, all the time?  Why isn't it something that any relatively capable backup center can be taught to do just as well, relieving us of the need to waste a scholie on a guy who isn't useful for anything else?  


June 18th, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

"Have you ever seen a punt team when they can't snap it? It's an absolute disaster. .....(once) we didn't have a guy who could get it back 14 or 15 yards. So we used a guy who could get it about 12. Had to change our entire punt team, our entire punt protection, and every fourth down we just held our breath. You can't go through that. You have to have a guy. A lot of people might say, that's a wasted scholarship. Try snapping a few over the punter's head and it just looks ridiculous. That's not how you win Big Ten championships. That's a huge, huge position, and that's why we're recruiting it."

Like most schools Nebraska tries to fill the spot with a walk-on, such as their current 4 year starter, but didn't feel like a good replacement was on the roster. Nebraska has a big recruiting class this year--25 to 28---and could afford to offer a scholarship.

"And right now we have a need in our program to come in and fill that spot, just like any time if we were to have a senior in that position and not a proven backup, we'd probably bring in a recruit at that position," Els said.