This is Jordan Butler, long snapper from Arizona who was selected to play in the 2015 Under Armour All American game. Hard work, dedication, and persistence will get you far.
Here is his story:
“Hello, my name is Jordan Butler. I am the long snapper for Saguaro High School. I am also the 1st pick long snapper for the 2015 Under Armour All American Game.
I know most of you know that what we do (long snapping) is the most over looked position in football. But, I think that it is one of the most important! 5 years ago I played on a little league football team called the Argonauts. I played center and linebacker.
One of my coaches, Coach Nyles Outley, told me to go to a trainer that he saw on the news. This trainer, supposedly trained snappers. I decided that to better my self, I would go. When I arrived, I noticed that what these kids were doing was not center snapping. After introducing my self, I asked what exactly they were doing? The coach told me they were long snapping. I had no clue what that was or why it was a position.
For the first couple of months I only did center snapping, but everyday I attempted to persuade him to let me long snap. He finally gave in one day and allowed me to start long snapping. My first snap showed absolute no potential in the position, but I was determined to master the skill!
I was told that with hard work and dedication, I could get a scholarship for long snapping. I never knew what real dedication was til I found myself training 4-5 days a week for 1-2 hours. It was brutal. I would go on to do this for 5 years, sacrificing time with friends and family. Missing birthday celebrations, holidays, and just general social time. But I was determined to be the best! The next day, I went to the head coach of the Argonauts, Coach Jason Mohns, and told him about my start at long snapping. He informed me that although it is a needed position in high school, Saguaro does not use one because of how the run their offense. I didn’t care, I was still determined to be a long snapper!
By my freshman year, I had been training for 2 years and was pretty good. I knew that I was better than the current “long snapper” (who only snapped on PATs) that was on varsity. I explained that to the head coach everyday! My freshman year, I did not receive the starting long snapping position on varsity that I thought I would have had. This made me more hungry for the position. I wanted to prove the coaches wrong!
My sophomore year was a repeat. Still didn’t get the starting position, even though I had been training for 3 years and knew I was better! My junior year, I was informed by a coach, that trying to stick to long snapping was a waste on time. He told me to look for another position because my current one had no potential.
By now, team mates even saw that long snapping wasn’t going to take me far and started to make fun of me for trying. I didn’t care. I had given 4 years of my life to the position and I wasn’t going to give up on it! I had attended other special team camps and they said I showed a lot of potential, I knew it would eventually pay off!
That year I finally got the starting position and showed the head coach that I was good! He agreed, and told me realized how much effort I had put into it. I eventually proved to him that we could actually start a punt team that had been absent for 5 years. I was the first long snapper in 5 years at Saguaro.
My first varsity snap was a punt. It was about 3 feet over our punters head. It was a rocky start to my career. My team mates still like to remind me about that snap today! As the season went on, I didn’t have another bad snap. We went on to win state, which is 13 games of good snaps! Going into spring ball, I started my 5th year of long snapping.
I decided that it was time to bring my talents to a national level. I attended a National Showcase in Wisconsin. I was extremely nervous. I was snapping against a ton of long snappers in my class, a lot of them were really good! At the end of the camp I scored 58/55. The highest score ever seen at that camp! Because of my elite performance, I was the 1st pick long snapper to the 2015 Under Armour All American Game.
When I returned to Arizona, I told my coach the news. He was very proud of me, along with many other coaches and players. I could see they looked at me in a different way. No longer was I a fool for chasing a dream, but a high caliber athlete.
It took 5 years to prove my self! 5 long years of hard training, extreme dedication and tough skin. I’m writing this today just to say anything is possible. Although we are not looked at, or appreciated, we can still be great! Currently, I still train hard. I still start a Saguaro, a team that is currently 21-0. I am still hungry to be the best. If I had to give any advice, it would be to stay hungry! Even when at the top, stay hungry for more! Thank you for reading.”
Jordan is a great example of what hard work can do for you! Watch out for him as he will be snapping for a long time.
– Coach Stelter