July 21, 2010
Orange offered the best package
Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania is home to one of the top long snappers in the country, For Syracuse that is good news because Mercersburg Academy long snapper Sam Rodgers decided that he will wear Orange in college.
Before he picked Syracuse there was another school that was right there making him think hard about his decision.
"I was really deciding on the offer from Syracuse or walking on at Ohio State. Ohio State wanted me to be a walk-on and earn a scholarship. It just made more sense with Syracuse I knew they had my academics so that was a fit and ultimately education is the most important part. I feel like it could have went either way and I would make it work. Syracuse was a good fit and it is going to work out well."
How close were the two schools at the end?
"I definitely was thinking about Ohio State because in my mind there is no doubt that I would have been able to get the scholarship at some point in my career there. The big thing was really the "what if" and things like that. Would I get a fair shot being a freshman or would I get hurt things like that. When it came down to it Syracuse was just offering the better deal."
When it came down to picking though the Syracuse package was the right one to take.
"It was really just the whole package that they are offering. I could not narrow it down to one thing it was just all of it."
On his visit to Syracuse that whole package the Orange offered just felt perfect for Rodgers.
"My parents and I took a visit there and we took the academic visit. I had a chance to meet with a lady who was in charge of my major. They had everything all lined up that I wanted academically. I talked with Coach Marrone and he told me about the type of players that they are looking for and it just seemed like a real good fit."
The academic side of Syracuse is what really had Rodgers hooked. He knew about the football aspect, but he really enjoyed seeing how he could be set up after football.
"My favorite part was getting to know about the school. The week before that I was at the football camp and I snapped for them. Just knowing that I was going to be in the right place for school was important. I don't want to go to college just to play football. I know football will end someday and I have to be prepared for that."
Even though he knows his Syracuse education will help him after football he does hope to play for awhile. He feels that Syracuse will be the best fit for him to head to that next level. One item that was also important to Rodgers was something that Coach Marrone told him before he left campus. Marrone told Rodgers that he could look around the country and not find another head coach with long snapping experience. That comment by Marrone really stuck with the future Orange long snapper.
"That meant a lot to me. I know that I am going to school to get an education, but for me I want to give the NFL a shot. I don't plan on stopping in college I want to use it as a way to get to the NFL. Coach Marrone has snapping experience in the NFL, Coach Casullo coached special teams in the NFL and they will have the connections. They are the best group of people who can get me to where I want to go."
As far as his snaps are concerned he has been timed pretty fast and he continues to work on his craft daily.
"My average time snapping is about .75 or .76."
Rodgers has already become friends with new Syracuse punter Jonathan Fisher. Rodgers hopes that they will develop into one of the top punting units in college football.
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