The job of a long snapper is among the most underrated on the football field. A good snap and nobody really notices, it's one of those jobs that people just take for granted because how hard can snapping really be?
Of course, it's not simple, and a bad snap can be the difference between a field goal and losing a game. It can be the difference between a good punt and a turnover. Like most things in sports it's the little details that make all the difference.
At the same time it isn't a flashy job, and given the opportunity there are plenty of people who could learn how to do it. In turn scholarships are rarely awarded to snappers because given the choice between a player who can run a fast 40-yard dash and one who can snap a football, coaches are going to take the speed.
This makes the earlier news that Penn State long snapper Chris Stoll as put on scholarship one of those feel-good offseason moments. A video released by Penn State shows Stoll getting the news, emotional in one of the biggest moments of his career.
Where did that scholarship come from though? A team can only carry 85 players on scholarship per NCAA rules, so the extra one had to come from somewhere.
Enter now former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, who visited the Nittany Lions last week. '
"I'm not exaggerating," Penn State coach James Franklin said to reporters on Wednesday following practice. "Literally the day we gave this scholarship to Stoll. I'm in the meeting, doing it and I turn and look and there's Micah standing in my office. And just so you guys know Stoll got Micah's scholarship, so we're at 85."
Franklin says this with a laugh, but in the moment there was undoubtedly a moment of terror as one of the best linebackers in the nation -who seemingly waffled on an earlier decision to declare for the NFL Draft- standing in the door quite possibly looking to return, only to find out his scholarship was taken.
In reality though, Parsons was just back from California to say hello to some friends and family in State College and back home in Harrisburg.
"When Micah decided wasn't coming back we were able to do an appeal with the NCAA and get that scholarship and we were able to give it to Stoll. So I turned and Micah is standing there [and I'm like] does he have second thoughts. Well it's too late. Stoll's got it," Franklin said with a laugh.