Getting on the field a snap for Wracher

There are a number of incoming freshmen who could make an impact this fall for the Indiana football team.

But it’s an unlikely member of the 2019 recruiting class who is at the top of IU coach Tom Allen’s list.

“A guy that jumps out to me, you may not expect this, is Sean Wracher,” Allen said during his February signing day press conference. “Even though he’s a long snapper, he may be our stating long snapper. So that guy has a huge role, big shoes to fill, but at the same time a very, very important role on this team coming in as a true freshman. So that would be the first guy I think of.”

The big shoes Wracher will be filling belong to Dan Godsil, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the nation’s top professional long-snapping prospect.

Of course, Wracher didn’t set out to just become a long snapper. It started just as a way to get on the field in high school.

“In high school my first two years, I was playing defensive end, tight end and I was snapping,” Wracher said last week. “I played at a school where we had 80-100 kids on the team, so it was tough for me to get on the field, but I could always snap the ball.”

Realizing that the path to playing time was in the latter, Wracher took his coach’s advice.

“He said, ‘Some of our kickers are going to these (special teams) camps, you should try one out,” Wracher said. “I went to one and did all right. I wasn’t ranked very high, but I started to work my way up.

“As I worked more and more on it, I started to fall in love with the craft. As I grew in snapping, I found more and more of a love for it and ended up playing Division I football.”

The realization that there could be a college payoff to his newfound passion came quickly.

“I would say probably the end of my sophomore year when I started to work on it more and go to camps and talk to coaches, who said ‘You have a good shot,’” Wracher said. “As I went forward with visits and stuff, I realized if this was what I wanted, I could make its happen.”

He did, becoming the nation’s No. 7 long-snapping prospect according to 247Sports.com and No. 1 by Kornblue Kicking.

Now Wracher is spending his summer trying to prepare to be one of, if not the most impactful freshman for the Hoosiers.

“This summer I’m working with Hammer Kicking Academy and Kohl’s Kicking, going to camps and stuff with them, working on my form,” he said, “and getting myself ready to play from Day 1.”

17 comments

  1. Become a long-snapper and get a full ride football scholarship! Cool.

    Hope his weight is above 230 when the season begins. Long snappers don’t have to be nearly as big as other O-linemen, but he still needs to have the size necessary to survive the normal contact after the snap, especially on punts. At 215 lbs., I worry about him getting hurt. Being 6’4″ should allow him to be comfortable playing at about 250 lbs.

  2. Wracher has the right approach to becoming a long snapper in the B1G. It would be great if he continues to give IU a long snapper that IU can count on. After four years of consistent long snapping it would be nice to have that again this year.

  3. Having a high quality long snapper might seem like a minute detail to some, but there have been many a game ultimately lost as a result of a botched snap.

  4. I coached a kid who was a decent high school player. Maybe 180lbs. Probably because of his dad’s connections he was allowed to walk on to an D1 FBS school as a long snapper. On the depth chart he was 4th string.

    Two games into his freshman year the starter was hurt. His backup put his first in game snap over the punter’s head into the end zone for a safety.

    Third string guy goes high and outside for a huge loss and turnover.

    Chris gets sent in.

    Fast ball down the middle. The rest of the afternoon…fastball down the middle.

    Starts the rest of the season. Zero turnovers.

    Gets scholarship. Goes on to be a four year starter. Probably never got above 215lbs.

    Sometimes all the stars line up.

    1. Great story Chet!

      The long snap is not a skill everyone can master. For the guys who can, it is a ticket to a scholarship, and for some to the nfl.

      1. Didn’t remember it perfectly. He actually got in with two games left in the season.

        https://woffordterriers.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2035

        It was a helluva team. I had 4 D1 football players on the roster and another who competed in the NCAA D1 wrestling championships (my kid). Our quarterback went on to play QB for MIT. His brother has been an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins through 3 different head coaches. Smart bunch.

  5. Great story Chet and that team sounds like it had some very good players and smart players along with you having a talented son.

  6. Great story, Chet. How long ago was that? I believe, but could be wrong, that they’ve changed the rules in the last decade or so about defenders lining up directly across from the long-snapper so as to reduce the risk of injury to the snapper. The long-snapper’s risk of injury is greater on punts, after the ball is kicked, when he may have to shed blocks and make tackles.

    1. Podunker, the risk before was more dangerous because the wrong hit could have broken the snappers neck. Now the long snapper can now see a hit coming when going down the field; yes they can be injured on coverage. With rule changes about blocking down field they have to stay above the waist so their isn’t a lot of risk.

  7. Hey Jeremy Price- can’t you guys get Mike Miller a MacBook and a subscription of BTN2Go until you hire his replacement? Seems like he could do some freelance stories while you are interviewing candidates.

    1. Not sure what stories he’d be doing (also guessing he’s enjoying some down time). Should meet another batch of freshmen football players this week, hoping to get some basketball interviews soon. Big Ten Media Day for football is coming up July 18, so things should be picking up.

      1. Speaking of meeting a batch of freshmen, do you have any updates on Cameron Williams, Da’shaun Brown, or Antoine Whitner? Are they enrolled? I haven’t seen anything yet that say’s they are enrolled.

        1. Good question. IU has not updated its roster with any of the summer enrollees. Whitner and Williams at least have been active on Twitter supporting IU commits and other related tweets.

  8. No slight to young Wracher, but how weird that “long snapper” is a thing. Sounds like its a fish. I still think football with no pads (OK, maybe knee and elbow), leather helmets, and twenty man rosters would be a heck of a game. In one season in the late ’50s, Frank Gifford played EVERY SINGLE DOWN for the NY Giants. He was the halfback, a defensive halfback (Cornerback? What’s a cornerback?), the punter, the placekicker, and the return man. In his book “The Whole Ten Yards,” he wrote that after that season he never wanted to see another football. Highly recommended. Also suggested for summer reading: “When Football Was Football” (history of the Chicago Cardinals), “Stagg’s University (the rise and fall of big time football at UChigago), “Carlisle Vs. Army” (Jim Thorpe meets Dwight Eisenhower on the gridiron), and “Halas by Halas” (you’ll have to figure that one out fer yerselfs!).

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