Football Terms – Long Snapping
In both the NFL and CFL, the long snapper is a center who specializes in snapping the ball during punts, field goals and extra points. In college football, the term “long snapper” is used for snappers in a field goal situation, while “deep snapper” is applied to snappers in a punt formation. The average size for NFL long snappers ranges from 6’1” to 6’5” and between 235 and 300 pounds.
Consistent long snappers are very important in football, as a bad snap can cause a play to fail or be delayed. After the snap is delivered, they perform the normal functions of a center. This most often involves getting downfield and trying to make a tackle on the opposing ball carrier or preventing other players from blocking punts and field goal attempts.
Since long snappers usually don’t play any other positions, they often go undrafted by NFL teams. There are exceptions, however, and Ryan Pontbriand became the highest-drafted long snapper when the Cleveland Browns spent a fifth round pick on him in the 2003 NFL Draft.
In recent years, the value of a talented long snapper has become more evident to teams. College scholarships are sometimes offered for the position, and pro scouts keep their eyes open for players skilled in this area.
When preparing to snap, it is suggested that you keep your feet parallel to each other and six inches wider than shoulder width. Your weight should be slightly shifted towards the balls of your feet, and your toes should be pointing straight forward. The ball should be placed one yard in front of you.