The Best are Never Known
The game of football is riddled with positions most fans never notice. When Tom Brady throws a 75 yard touchdown pass the left tackle doesn’t get credit for an incredible block. Long snapper is another position that goes unnoticed by common fans.
Long snappers snap the football 15 yards with pin point precision to punters. In D1 and professional football long snappers are easy to identify if you know what you are looking for. Long snappers wear the numbers other players don’t want. They often tape their wrists and never wear gloves.
Standard punt snaps are 15 yards in length and take impeccable execution of technique.
- First place the football on the ground one yard in front, laces down, lined up mid-line of the body.
- Set feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with toes pointing straight ahead.
- Grip the ball with dominant hand on the laces in a throwing grip. Place the other hand with middle finger on the in-seam of the ball, fingers spread and grip pressure on fingertips.
- Look between legs to target (punter) with arms extended dominant hand down and 45 degree flex in the knees.
- Pick a specific target around the waist of the punter. Smaller the target, the less likely a missed snap. This could be a logo or belt buckle.
- Using the full extension of arms like a catapult launch the ball back to the punter finishing both thumbs to respective sideline (left thumb to the left sideline and right thumb the right sideline).
- As hands work back to punter engage hips and core to throw the ball with velocity to the target in straight lines.
If a long snapper makes perfect snaps for years on end no one will acknowledge him. Mishaps with the snap going over the head of the punter, or rolled between his legs is the only time long snappers get talked about. I was a long snapper from pee-wee football through my college career, and if no one talked to me after games that meant I was doing my job.