A huge, game-changing recruit announced his decision on Thursday.
His declaration, which was a surprise to many, sent shockwaves through the meeting rooms of teams hoping for his services, and message boards had much to say regarding the news. All intelligent and thoughtful things, I’m sure.
I’m talking, of course, about Cole Mazza, the nation’s best long snapper who will be taking his snappin’ skills to Alabama. Which player did you have in mind?
Cole, who is from Bakersfield, California, was originally committed to UCLA but made his switch official (or least verbally official) when Nick Saban offered a scholarship. Alabama gave him a week to think it over and it was an easy decision according to Mazza.
"I felt like I just couldn't skip this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play for Alabama, Mazza told al.com. “Such a great coaching staff and a great program that's been around forever and such a great community that is 100 percent behind the team. It's just a great place to be for football and academically, I feel like.”
Cole’s long-snapping guru also talked about his progress as a player, and I am just as surprised as you are that there are long-snapping gurus.
With Cole’s verbal, Alabama locked up their 18th commitment for the 2013 class. That’s incredible, especially in June. (And yes, I understand that they can’t sign until February, but it’s still impressive regardless).
While signing a long snapper seems out of the ordinary to a degree, Nick Saban is not the only one to fill this void. Michigan picked up a commitment from the number two ranked long snapper Scott Sypniewski just last week. The Illinois spiral manufacturer fits right into Michigan’s monster class and the Wolverines now have 21 verbal commits (also incredible) for 2013. This leads the country.
In comparison, Minnesota and Indiana have only one commitment overall for the 2013 class, matching Alabama and Michigan’s long snapper quota.
What does it all mean? Although you cannot discount the duties of a long snapper and the potential ramifications with question marks at the position, nothing highlights the recruiting world in 2012 more than this.
Those at the top are separating themselves from many each and every day, and the luxury of signing a long snapper is one they can take because they’ve already taken care of more important business. No offense to the wonderful long snappers out there.
Perhaps maybe this is college football’s next great trend, and it will soon take the face of your fantasy football draft. You know that guy that takes a tight end MUCH earlier than he should, and it sets off a chain reaction of forced picks, confusion and further cursing?
Oh man, don't you just hate that guy? And we’re headed that way. The equipment manager scholarship frenzy is suddenly in sight.