1. Two hands on the ball. When I first started out, I had played a little bit of quarterback, so I snapped it like a quarterback between my legs and it would spiral. It came naturally to me, but I wasn’t doing it right. My technique is getting a little better and more correct. You do use your off hand more than you think and you are supposed to follow through with both hands. You are supposed to use both hands pretty equally. As a right-hander, I put my right hand on the bottom and turn both hands to get the ball to spiral.
2. You feel like you are on an island. Everybody says no one knows who you are until you mess up. It is a pressure position and you have to be accurate. You snap in routine situations, but if a snap goes bad, it can be a really big play. Having a bad snap is the worst feeling to have and I’ve had some bad snaps. It is a terrible feeling and it is no one else’s fault, but yours.
3. Protecting the snapper. In college, they don’t let someone fire off on a snapper as soon as he snaps it. You are supposed to allow the snapper to get his head up, but some teams do it any way. It is always a judgment call and I’ve never had a ref call that penalty, but you are supposed to let them get up. It can be tough to get off that block sometimes.
4. Have to keep the defense guessing. There will generally be some sort of hand signal to notify me everyone is set for the snap. After the signal, it is kind of on me as to when to snap it. It isn’t like a snap count in a game, where the center has to snap it as soon as the quarterback says hut. I get to decide when to snap it, and I try to change it up and not keep the same rhythm so they can’t jump it.
5. On a punt, the up-back is critical to the snapper. The up-back or the guy behind me in the shield as we call it, is absolutely critical to what I do. He may change the way we cover and the way we block on the fly out on the field, so you have to listen and you have to know what he is saying. Sometimes if it is real loud, he’ll come up to the line and make sure everyone gets it. There will generally be some sort of hand signal to notify me everyone is set for the snap.