2009: I was just finishing up my college career and all I knew is that I didn’t want to be done playing the game that I loved.
2010: I joined the St. Paul Pioneers semi pro football team and had a successful year making the All-Star team at the finish of the season.
2011: I had been playing semi pro and had been very successful as a long snapper. I started looking up ways I could try to get to the next level. I found Michael Husted’s pro camp through talking with Michael through my NCS connection and started looking into it. They ranked the snappers and would post their videos on youtube.
I remember watching these long snappers, researching where they were from, and just amazed at how good they were. I looked up to them and began following them. Watching them gain tryouts with teams, make it to camp, get into the NFL. Thats what I wanted to do.
2012: I decided to go out to Las Vegas for the Husted pro camp. I was extremely nervous because this was my first attempt at going pro. I remember seeing a handful of guys that I had been following, a lot of them had been with NFL teams which I thought was so cool. I went through the pro camp not knowing how I was doing, I am always pretty hard on myself when it comes to snapping so I didn’t think I did so great, especially being around guys that talented.
At the end of camp I ended up getting a 5 star rating. I had no idea I was THAT good! I had competed with these guys I had been following and I’m on their level. That was so cool for me. Although no NFL teams came calling I was able to pick up an NFL agent from this camp which I never even imagined.
A few months later I attended an open tryout for a professional league I had heard of before, the United Football League. The Sacramento Mountain Lions were having a tryout so I decided it would be a good opportunity to showcase my skills since the NFL hadn’t called yet. I went out there and competed with a snapper who had been with multiple NFL teams before. The Mountain Lions ended up choosing me over the experienced Division 1 long snapper.
2013: I went back to the Husted camp with one goal in mind. Be #1… I knew this was a high goal but I had put in a lot of work, played in a professional league and was ready. The pro camp was full of extremely good long snappers again from very prestigious division one programs all over the nation. Once again some had been with NFL teams, I had not…I had only my UFL experience behind me.
The week went by and I thought I did well. I wasn’t sure if I had achieved my goal, but sure enough, when the rankings came out I was #1.
2014: Frustrated that nothing came out of my #1 ranking at last years pro camp I had told myself that if nothing happened out of this years camp I was going to hang up my cleats and pursue coaching and teaching.
Camp came and I thought I did the best I had ever done. Competed well against the best competition I had seen at camps before and had a near perfect chart day in front of the NFL scouts.
After camp I had heard a few teams were interested but I had learned not to get my hopes up over talk…
A few weeks later I was sitting at home when my phone rang. A number from New Jersey was calling. I answered and had my ticket booked for a tryout with the New York Jets.
At the tryout I competed with a guy I had watched from previous camps, a previous #1 ranked long snapper. A very successful tryout led to us both being brought back for rookie mini camp. It was a great experience that just goes to show that you need to “work until your idols are your rivals”. Im not done, I still have idols that I plan on making my rivals someday soon.
A great saying that got me where I am today and I hope gets you to where you are going.