Life in a Snap

Article by Ryan Freeman


Long snapper, Brendan Beattie, snaps the ball during a game in his 2018 senior season. Photo by Jim Savage.

With one second left in the game, Kings kicker, Tommy Mitchell, made a 46-yard field goal to knock off the Turpin Spartans on their own turf. The entire student section chanted Tommy’s name, and for one night, Tommy felt like a hero.

The kick was the furthest of Mitchell’s career, and it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the snap.

“Without him (Brendan Beattie) there could be no kick. His consistency makes it really easy to go out and execute the same way every time” Said senior kicker, Tommy Mitchell.

Fans may not have been chanting Brendan Beattie’s name, but his role in the kick was larger than the common fan would realize. Long snapping is arguably the least recognizable position in football, but it’s an extremely large piece to the special team’s puzzle.

“It doesn’t really bother me personally, but it is a little frustrating seeing the only time a long snapper is recognized is when they mess up. But I knew that when I started, so I can’t complain,” said Beattie.

The long snapper is the first player to touch the ball in all kicking situations. The ball goes from the long snapper, to the holder, then off the kicker’s foot.

Brendan has played football for almost his whole life, and even when he wasn’t the star player, he has always found a way to make an impact on the game.

Beattie grew up playing Center in youth football, so when his team started kicking extra points, he was the obvious person for the job.

He began practicing long snapping in practice when he discovered that he had a real talent for the position.

“I started snapping and practicing a lot about five years ago,” Beattie told the Knight Times.

About a year later, Brendan attended his first special teams camp.

Brendan began attending Rubio Long Snapping Camps which are one of the most well-known special team camps in the country among college coaches.

“It’s the best way to learn about the nuances of such a specialized position. It also helps with exposure to college coaches” Brendan said.

Chris Rubio has been a long snapping instructor for eight years and has quickly built a brand for his camps. He has helped produce over 150 long snappers that have been put on full scholarship for their duties.

According to Rubiolongsnapping.com, “Long snapping is crucial to the game of football. One bad snap can alter the outcome of a play, game, or season. College football coaches now realize the importance of this specialization and are therefore dedicating more time to the recruitment of long snappers.”

Along with Rubio’s expertise, he also creates a player ranking list of the top long snappers in the country. He uses things such as form, speed, accuracy, and mechanics to help him create his rankings.

Brendan Beattie is listed as a 4.5 star long snapper and the 36th best long snapper in the 2019 graduating class.

“His balance is solid and he moves well on his feet. Definitely can be a factor on the punt team in college. Kid works his tail off and is always improving. He has the ability to do very well in college” Chris Rubio wrote in regards to long snapper Brendan Beattie.

Brendan also played linebacker for the Kings football team before his junior season. He decided it would be in his best interest to focus only on his long snapping.

“I decided to only long snap once I felt like I had a real opportunity to play Division 1 college football” Brendan told the Knight Times.

Brendan will get that chance when he suits up for the Miami University Redhawks next fall.

“Brendan has worked very hard in his effort to get to the Division 1 level. He has earned the right to be a part of the team and I have no doubt he will continue working to be the starter there. Brendan will do great things at Miami and I wish him the best of luck,” Kings special teams coach, Caleb Keeton said.

Brendan also had an offer to play at Kent State, but ultimately chose Miami University. He made his verbal commitment public via Twitter on November 18th.

Miami has been one of Brendan’s top schools on his list for quite some time, as he has been going on recruiting trips to Oxford since his sophomore year.

“I have built a personal relationship with the coach over the last three years so it feels like home. I am hoping to be able to earn the starting position in the next couple of years” Said Beattie.

Brendan is also a dedicated student in the classroom. Brendan believes Miami University is the perfect fit for him academically as well.

“Miami is the right fit because it has one of the best business schools in the Midwest which is what I want to major in”.

Brendan finished his high school career as a four-year varsity participant, and a three-year starter. This past season he was named First Team All ECC for special teams. He is proud of his success, but is looking to aim even higher in his college career.

“I am looking forward to playing in a lot of bowl games, MAC championships, beating our rivals (Ohio University and University of Cincinnati), and crazy upsets like Ohio State (hopefully) in the horseshoe next season”.

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