UB Bulls long snapper Corbin Grassman’s outrageous trick snaps go viral

football_web

Junior long snapper Corbin Grassman simply wanted to enjoy a little bit of down time after a rigorous summer practice.

The down time turned into freshman kicker Adam Mitcheson sitting in a chair with a Gatorade bottle balanced on top of his head in the football team’s locker room. Grassman took several steps back, got into his snapping position and prepared for his snap.

Bang.

football1_web
By Yusong Shi |

Corbin Grassman (left) and his cousin, Tyler Grassman (right), form a one-two punch as the long snapper and punter for the football team. 


The football hit the Gatorade bottle perfectly – and avoided any part of Mitcheson’s head. Like it was nothing.

Grassman has made long snapping – not usually a desirable position – a career in college. He’s also made long snapping – not usually a football highlight – into a viral sensation.

Videos of Grassman’s trick snaps made their way across the Internet this summer after the junior spent the past two years snapping to his cousin, senior punter Tyler Grassman, without much glory or recognition. Grassman has always loved doing trick snaps but it wasn’t until this summer that he unveiled his skills.

During the offseason, Grassman and his teammates prepared for their best trick yet. Grassman traveled up to the 300-level of UB Stadium, found a corridor leading to the inside of the stadium. The alcove was perfect, as Grassman prepared for the snap. Below, on the field, stood an empty trashcan.

The shuffle of his feet, the push and arc of the football in the air, the subsequent clunk into the trashcan and his teammates going crazy on the field was all caught on tape.

“That was toughest one,” Grassman said. “There were a ton of different factors for that shot, not even counting the fact it was from the third deck. Finding the right spot, the angle of it, it was all tricky.”

The video went viral and made the rounds on NFL.com, Sports Illustrated, SI.com, and Bleacher Report. It even had a stint on ESPN’s “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable.”

“That one still gets me,” Tyler said. “It’s a lot tougher than the one in the locker room because of the wind and once you snap it, the wind can snatch it up and drift it a bit. He had to account for the variance of the wind and the fact it would drift a bit and he nailed it.”

For Grassman, the skill started in the 6th grade when teams in his area began punting. He worked and worked, but he said he didn’t really improve at long snapping until high school. He took to the position, however, with ease.

“I think there are some things to pick up when learning the position to start,” Grassman said. “The hardest thing is the accuracy and the consistency – just being able to get the ball to the punter or kicker with ease and where they want it, it’s quite a challenge.”

Grassman continued to work as a long snapper but also played tight end and linebacker, albeit no Division-I offers. He received two offers from Division II and even discussed playing on the I-AA level. But of all places, he eventually found himself with an offer from Buffalo after impressing former Bulls head coach Jeff Quinn.

Grassman credits his improvement, performance and technique to a trip to a specialist: New Mexico-based coach Shane Hackney.

“As a specialist, some colleges have camps for snappers and things like that,” Grassman said. “That’s where I got the most help. I worked with Hackney. He really helped me work on my technique and my form.”

From there, Grassman joined his cousin Tyler in Buffalo and formed a one-two punch at the punter-long snapper positions.

For Grassman, it’s about cleanly getting the ball back to Tyler with accuracy at the spot he likes it, all the while stopping a defensive lineman from disrupting the punt. For Tyler, it’s about a clean catch, having the space to make the necessary steps before sending it off to the back of the end zone.

“It’s great having someone like Corbin so consistent over the past three years, knowing he’s going to do all he can to help me and vice-versa,” Tyler said. “It’s nice to be sitting back there, knowing you’re going to get a nice snap.”

Three games into his junior season, Grassman wants to continue his success and get the ball back to his family.

“I’ve been fine this season, but you can always improve,” Grassman said. “I just want to continue my play, work hard, and make sure I get it back to [Tyler] to make some more booming punts.”


Quentin Haynes is the co-senior sports editor and can be reached at quentin.haynes@ubspectrum.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @Haynes_Spectrum