Today means 74 days to kickoff. Which, of course, means we will continue our extensive tour of the trenches for the Days to Purdue Football Countdown. And so far, we've already seen just about everything from the big men on both sides of the ball. Starters, reserves. Seniors and Freshies. Scholarship-holders and walk-ons, alike. Guys with strength, guys with speed, and guys who have no business being 300 plus and so athletic. You name it, we've already started assessing the prototype.
But, today marks a bit of new ground for the 2012 tour and somewhat of a special occasion. Being 74 days to kickoff, today we look at none other than Connor Snapp; a guy who may often be mistaken for an oak tree and who has held to honor of being named a "preferred walk-on" for the football team.
Connor Snapp - Jr. (RS)
Hometown: Valparaiso, IN (Valparaiso HS)
6'7", 324 pounds
2012 Projection: Reserve on Offensive Line
Connor Snapp has a very interesting back story, indeed. He walked onto the football team in 2009 after lettering three times at Valpo High School, which doesn't sound very unique. But what is intriguing and noteworthy is that Snapp was given "preferred" walk-on status his freshman year, which is where a player must pay his own way through school but is reserved a spot on the team.
Now entering his fourth year at Purdue and his third eligible season on the football squad, he still has yet to make a sound--let alone some noise--for himself and Purdue Football. After redshirting his freshman year in 2009, he did not play at all in 2010. And from what findings I can possibly muster on the statistics of offensive linemen, it doesn't appear that he touched the field last year, either. But let me be clear. If in fact Connor Snapp did garner some playing time in 2011, I sincerely apologize to him and any die-hard #74 fans out there. Yet, from what my research has uncovered, he definitely wasn't a starter or a major contributor to the offensive line's rotation.
And unfortunately, it appears that 2012 will bring similar surroundings for Mr. Snapp. He is not an incumbent regular in the rotation, and when he has to compete with guys like Trevor Foy, Rick Schmeig, Kevin Pamphile, Peters Drey and Justin Kitchens again, it is hard to say that he will see a change of scenery and finally earn some signifcant playing time. Which sort of makes me question the guy's athleticism and pure talent. I mean, the guy is built like a beast. At 6'7" and 324 pounds, he seems to be destined for greatness just at first glance. But, in his defense, he has had to work hard for his accolades his entire career. Even in high school, he apparently had to bust his ass to earn a starting spot that led him towards all-conference and all-state selections in 2008. Bottom line is: when you're a physical freak and you garner no major scholarships, people don't expect greatness from you.
Which is unfortunate. Because Connor Snapp seems like a nice, fun guy, and one hell of a hard worker. And hard workers (especially walk-ons) always deserve the good fortunes that come to them, and then some. Hopefully, Connor works hard this entire offseason to prove to the Purdue coaching staff that he does deserve a chance to see the field and be named a regular in the O-Line rotation for 2012. Hopefully, he can prove my assessment wrong.