Archive for July, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Long snappers usually don’t receive college football scholarship offers while in high school, but Bolles senior Nathan Theus isn’t your usual long snapper.
Theus has been honing his skills for years at home with his younger brothers and at Ray Guy’s kicking and long snapping camp which comes to the First Coast every year.
This past weekend, Nathan made a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia which is where he plans to continue his football career after high school.
To hear why Theus made this decision, click on the video link to watch.
Nathan Theus, the Prokicker.com #1 Long Snapper in the National Rankings, has committed to play football at the University of Georgia.
Jacksonville (FL) Bolles offensive linemen Nathan Theus and brother John Theus (2012 prospect) made their way to the Jimbo Fisher Football Camp in June for a one-day visit. The older Theus participated in the camp while John watched from the sideline.
“When we got there we went straight to the field and I warmed up a little bit,” Nathan Theus said. “I could tell some coaches were watching me. Finally, during a water break and after they wrapped up Coach (Jimbo) Fisher, Coach (Eddie) Gran, and Coach (Rick) Trickett came over. We talked about which ball to use for me to snap, so I grabbed their ball, and started snapping it. I threw back some really good times.”
|Chris Nee – Warchant.com|
|Nathan’s brother, John Theus (pictured), is a major offensive line target in the 2012 class.|
It didn’t take long for Gran and Fisher to be satisfied with what they saw from the long snapper.
“Coach Gran told me I had NFL times,” Theus said. “He was different from a lot of the college coaches because he wasn’t worried if I could go down the field and make a tackle, he wasn’t worried if I could block, he just told me he wanted me to put the ball on the punters hand and be consistent with that every time. I like that. That I just have to worry about snapping. He just told me I am one of the best he has seen and that he wants me to come to FSU.”
Coach Gran and Fisher were so impressed that they extended a scholarship offer to Theus after the camp.
Along with the offer, Gran’s message to Theus was simple.
“He just told me if I come to FSU, there is no reason why he can’t help send me to the NFL,” Theus said.
Florida State joins Georgia and South Carolina in extending an offer the older Theus. The Gamecocks offered him the opportunity to enroll in June of 2011 and play on the offensive line. However, both the Seminoles and Bulldogs extended greyshirt offers for Theus to enroll in January 2012 and handle long snapping duties.
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound lineman isn’t opposed to a greyshirt offer since it would allow him to play with his younger brother throughout his entire college career.
“If I greyshirt, we would have four years together rather than just three,” Nathan Theus said. “Greyshirt compared to a regular offer, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
While playing with his younger brother isn’t set in stone, Theus says it is extremely likely.
“There is always the possibility that I go to a school and I don’t like it or John decides he wants to go somewhere else, but as of right now I think we will play together,” he said.
Theus’ next visit will to Georgia for Dawg Night followed by Friday Night Lights at Florida. He expects to be closing in on a commitment shortly thereafter.
“After that, I am more than likely going to make my decision before my senior season starts,” he said. “The three that have offered are right there and then Florida is right behind them. I like Liberty a lot as well. They have been recruiting me a lot as well. I actually think I may take an official visit up there on week one or two. They have told me Coach (Danny) Rocco wants to see me one more time before they extend an offer.”
When it comes to the primary factor in making a decision, Theus says he is looking for a place that feels like home.
“Wherever I feel is most like home, where I feel comfortable, and I know the coaches care for me, that is really it,” he said. “I know my family is going to help me make the right decision.”
Other schools that have shown interest in Theus include Maryland, Rutgers, UCF, and Arkansas.
Impact With the Sweet Spot
For a soccer-style kicker, the sweet spot of the ball is about 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches down from the ball’s widest segment (figure 1.14). Contacting this area of the ball on the kick is most effective to achieve the optimal height and distance. When the holder positions the football in a straight up-and-down position, the kicker has a greater opportunity to strike the sweet spot.
Because the ball is a prolate spheroid shape, its axis of symmetry is longer than its other axes. This means the ball has a natural curve from its midsection that continues inward and to both points of the ball. When the football is positioned for placement-vertically for maximum sweet spot exposure-the inward curving of the ball from the midsection down to the point of placement on the ground provides the ideal surface area for contact on the kick. When the kicker strikes the ball as the kicking foot ascends, the ideal impact surface of the football and the top of the foot are more likely to meet, making for optimal impact and compression.
On contact with the ball, the kicker’s upper body is angled back slightly and away from the ball. Contact occurs at the exact moment the kicking foot begins to ascend. The kicking leg is rotated inward slightly as the kicking foot remains locked at the ankle with toes pointing down and out. The kicking leg should be in a nearly locked position.
The inward rotation of the kicking foot allows contact to occur at the top of the foot. This motion enables the leg to rotate slightly, allowing the knee of the kicking leg to move forward and face the direction of the target. At the moment the ball begins to compress, the impetus of the body-including the plant foot, hips, and leg swing-comes together to maximize the energy transfer through the football. At this moment, all the mechanics of the kick coordinate with the direction of the plant foot, which has transitioned to a firm and flat position, and come together to focus all energy directly toward the target.
At the very moment the football is compressed, the kicking leg locks. The kicker’s hips are square to the target and should continue forward in a thrusting motion, allowing for optimal power through the football. The left arm begins to sweep forward to counterbalance the anticipated swing of the kicking leg and provide stability as the body’s energy becomes concentrated toward the target. The right arm is slightly behind the body as it counterbalances the plant foot and the swing of the left arm.
The lean of the kicker’s body positions his head at an angle above and almost directly over a spot slightly behind and to the outside edge of the plant foot. This natural positioning of the body provides an optimal viewpoint. As the body continues the slight lean, with chest, hips, and kicking leg in a direct line to the kicking foot, the kicker looks down his body with eyes focused intently on the ball.
On impact, the kicker’s body is slightly back and angled away from the ball, which allows him to kick up and through the ball, gaining immediate elevation to clear the ball over the oncoming rush. This is the kicker’s natural way of adjusting his center of gravity to get a quick lift on the ball.
Optimal trajectory means obtaining maximum height and distance on the football to clear 10 feet easily from a 7-yard distance. An extra point or field goal is kicked 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage, where the potential blockers are swarming. Oncoming rushers can jump about 10 feet in the air. Thus, once the kick is on its way it must immediately climb above 10 feet before it travels 7 yards.
This is an excerpt from Football Kicking and Punting.