Today I woke up and reviewed the list I have that tracks the players who must be covered in the kickoff countdown. When I realized that I had to cover a Long Snapper, I was instantly reminded of the sheer greatness that was Kevin Ballinger--both as a player and blogger. Ballinger accepted the long snapping duties from his predecessor John Finch last year, and he did an outstanding job at the position all year long.
At the same time, he also started a hysterical blog on blogspot.com, entitled "Snapping Necks", which has captured some of the most outrageous, gut-bustingly funny stories related to Purdue Football, West Lafayette and other such topics that I have ever come across. I mean, who could forget his comments on speed and strength testing, an analysis of his own epic weight gain and his very own faux episode of MTV's Cribs? Along with many other colorful posts, Snapping Necks and other comedic works by Ballinger have practically become Boiler Nation staples.
While Kevin Ballinger's time at Purdue has come to an end, the spotlight instead will begin to shine on a new Long Snapper/Comedian this fall. 50 days to Purdue football, today we look at #50, the redshirt sophomore Jesse Schmitt.
Jesse Schmitt - So. (RS)
Hometown: Louisville, KY (Trinity HS)
6'2", 236 pounds
2012 Projection: Starter at Long Snapper
Unlike his predecessors John Finch and Kevin Ballinger, Jesse was actually recruited as a Long Snapper. And recruited he was! Schmitt was rated as the number 2 Long Snapper in the nation for the Class of 2010. On his route to accepting a scholarship from Purdue, Jesse also had offers from Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina. As I'm sure Finch and Ballinger would tell you, that is quite the attention over a Long Snapper.
After getting the redshirt his freshman year in 2010 and playing backup to Ballinger last year, the time has finally come for #50 in 2012. Schmitt is due to accept the torch from his predecessors and carry on what has quickly become a legacy of outstanding long-snapping with professional comedy on the side. Though Jesse may be more tame than Finch and (especially) Ballinger were with their tongue-in-cheek antics, he does tweet some pretty funny stuff from time to time on his Twitter--@schmitter50.
The way things are looking, Schmitt is perfectly set to do outstanding work as the starting Long Snapper for the Boilers for the next 2-3 seasons and also make some pretty hilarious comments on his Twitter now and then. If he can do that, he will just about live up to the expectations set before him by his long-snapping precursors. Now if he could only start a blog that rivals Snapping Necks...I know, I know. It's always hard to match a legend.
To see Jesse Schmitt take on the epic legacy of long snapping at Purdue and its humorous associations, give him a follow on his Twitter handle listed again here: @schmitter50.