Michigan's Brady Hoke Defends Giving Scholarship To Long Snapper

By John Raffel
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Many Michigan fans may have raised some eyebrows when they discovered that head football coach Brady Hoke signed a long snapper to an NCAA-football national letter of intent and offered him a scholarship.

It shouldn’t be all that surprising, especially nowadays. Many college football programs are putting such value on a long snapper. Sure, he’s not going to be as valuable as the quarterback, running back, offensive lineman, wide receiver and all the other primary players. But he’s just as valuable as a kicker or punter.

Bad snaps can cost various teams a ballgame. He’s also here to block to protect the punt, extra point attempt or field goal attempt. They all add up.

The Wolverines signed Scott Sypniewski, from Marquette High School in Ottawa, Ill. And his credentials are impressive since he played for a team with an 11-1 record. He started three years as a long snapper and also played guard and outside linebacker.

But he’ll focus on long snapper for the Wolverines. And yes, long snappers are rated nationally and one network had Sypniewski as high as third in the country. He drew raves from other recruiting services.

“Number one, I’ve always taken a long snapper as a head coach because they are so valuable,” said Hoke. “If you don’t have that mindset, you’re going to go into a game and your guy gets hurt and all of a sudden you wished you had another long snapper. That job is so critical. So for us, we’re always going to look. The timing’s perfect ― Jareth (Glanda) is back for another year and Scott (Sypniewski) can learn a lot and compete at the same time.”

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