On Friday and Saturday Neal Dahlman who is a senior long snapper at Bowling Green State University was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for One on One Long Snapping Lessons. Neal is about 6'1 and 240 pound snapper that has been listed on a couple of scouting services as a top 5 snapper in next years draft.
Neal was in town for long snapping lessons at the same time that University of Georgia Punter's and 2009 Ray Guy Winner Drew Butler was here. Each player had his own One on One coaching and also received extra practice time working together. As a kicking coach I feel it was a win, win for both specialists.
As he continued to snap and also block he had some erratic snaps. Nothing that was really bad but he showed a tendency to snap high and pull the ball off to the punters right shoulder.
As the long snapping lessons continued I took several sequential camera shots on the field so I could analyze his technique and make some minor corrections.
We finished the first day with field goal snaps. Neal was very good with his location but his laces were off. After he finished his 'perfect laces' drill and not hitting many 'perfect laces' I explained how he could achieve snapping perfect laces.
When the first day was finished we went to the press box to analyze his session. I explained to Neal what I look for in a good long snapper and what I felt it takes to make it to the NFL or next level.
Neal has some excellent potential. I told Neal to make it to the next level you can't have any stray bullets or wild snaps. For a team to pay you $300,000.00 or $400,000.00 you need to be real good. That means you need to be your best everyday in practice and during tryout.
Which translates not only to you need to refine your skill but also educate yourself so you know exactly what your doing. You also need to know if something goes wrong how to correct it. In addition you must be mentally tough.
The second day we put together some long snapping technique drills, a snapping progression and routine that was tailored especially for Neal. In the above photo, Neal worked my Balls and Strikes Drill to almost perfection. As he worked his long snapping drills Drew Butler was working his Drop Progression Drills
Neal finished his second day with my field goal snapping 'Perfect Laces' Drill. After we found his distance and worked refining his technique, Neal snapped almost every rep with 'perfect laces'.
Neal mentioned at the end of the long snapping lesson he had learned a lot and was happy he made the journey to Milwaukee. He said he had some other formal instruction from football long snapping coaches but nobody broke down the technique like I had. I took that as a compliment and not as over coaching.
It was a pleasure meeting and working with Neal Dahlman and I wish him the best of luck this upcoming senior season at Bowling Green State University. If he is not invited to the 2011 NFL Combine I expect to see him at my College Senior Specialists Combine in Phoenix, Arizona in February.