Jon Dorenbos has been a long snapper in the NFL since 2003, and has been with Philadelphia since 2006. It all started, though, when he submitted tape of another player long snapping in order to get a football scholarship at UTEP.
This amazing story comes from the Inside Voices segment of Philadelphia Magazine. Dorenbos was a linebacker at Golden West Junior College, and not getting much interest from Division I programs. He was not the long snapper. He submitted a highlight tape to UTEP, using cutups of himself playing linebacker, along with another teammate, and then also used footage of the team’s long snapper.
“I told UTEP I was a really good long-snapper and at the time I don’t think I was really good. Tim was way better. I hadn’t done it in about a year-and-a-half. They needed a snapper, so I got a full ride being a long-snapper. Awesome.”
Dorenbos is 6 foot tall. The long snapper in question, Tim Thurman, was 6’6″. Of course, this was well over a decade ago, and the picture quality was not good. UTEP offered him a scholarship, he practiced his long snapping all summer so when he showed up, his deception would not be apparent. The rest is history.
You have to be a special breed to be a long snapper for a long time. Dorenbos would have never got his start if he didn’t pull a little misdirection.