Friday, June 8, 2012

Hot Topics: Should Michigan Have Offered A Long Snapper For 2013?

On a regular basis, our writers will break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and express their personal opinions regarding the issue. Topics cover everything from major athletic department decisions to team apparel. Writers have their own opinions and readers and their views may not necessarily represent Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact our writers via Twitter with their own thoughts.

Tyler Desy - For Michigan Offering A Long Snapper For 2013

1) Alright, alright, I know everyone is mad about the scholarship offer to long snapper Scott Syniewski.  Well, I'm not everyone and I like it.  Let's be realistic, it's a position of need and I tend to think that the coaching staff is pretty smart and know what they are doing.  I mean, they didn't give out a scholarship for no reason.  He's not rated on most sites, but I have seen that one site rates him as a 5* and the number 2 long snapper in the country.  In the past, these guys are usually walk-ons that are taught the position and that has worked out for Michigan, but I think the coaches want to leave nothing to chance.  The kicking game has been iffy in years past, so I think the solidity of the position is comforting.  He is a good player and will bring great competition into camp, possibly compete for the starting nod.  A horrible snap could cost a team a game. We're all so quick to judge, but I think the coaches know talent and need when they see it, so why not go after him.

2) Risky business.  Yes, it's very risky, the commitment puts the 2013 class at 21.  We all know they are looking to be able to finish up with probably 24 or 25 TOPS! But with the targets that they are high after the likelihood of getting all of them are slim.  Kendall Fuller, Derrick Green, Laquon Treadwell to name a few.  It's going to be a long drawn out process and don't get me wrong, I would love to see all of those guys commit to Michigan, but they are all going to be tough gets, and likely not committing for quite some time.  So if you put all your eggs in the basket of a few players, you might miss out on something that you see as a need for the team.  This kid is a good football player and great at his position, albeit long snapper.  I think with Sparty poaching our walk-on from a year ago, it's something that the coaches felt they needed to address.  It's not the commit that everyone wanted to see and I was certainly surprised, but if he goes towards making our team that much better, then by all means do it.  Defensive linemen and linebackers are so big, fast, and talented now a days you need a good talented kid to be your long snapper.  There are key parts in a game that could be messed up and cost you the game and messing up a snap is one of them.  If this kid is solid at the position and the coaches like him, then so do I.

Thomas Beindit - Against Michigan Offering a Long Snapper For 2013

1)  A short while ago MSU was able to "steal" a recruit that had previously committed to Michigan for the 2012 recruiting class.  This recruit was a long snapper, but had no scholarship offer from Michigan.  MSU offered him a scholarship and he decided to jump from Michigan's 2012 recruiting class to MSU's as a result.  Most Michigan fans made fun of MSU for offering a scholarship to a long snapper.  Many said it was a sign of how their recruiting efforts had failed so badly they had to offer a long snapper.  Well, Michigan just offered a long snapper for 2013.  Whether this was a result of losing that 2012 recruit to MSU or because Scott Sypniewski is a special talent at the position is unknown, but what is known is that Michigan has used a vital scholarship on a position that is really not that needed.  Every team needs a long snapper, but nine times out of ten it's a walk-on or a back-up player at another position who fills the role.  Believe me, I certainly couldn't do the long snapper duties, but let's be real, it's not exactly quarterback.  Find a walk-on or a back-up offensive lineman that's not doing anything and teach him how to be a long snapper.  The long snapper's only going to be out there for a few plays a game, I'm sure they can do well enough to suffice.  Giving up a scholarship for this small of a need just doesn't make sense.

2) Michigan's recruiting class is currently ranked #1 in the nation by every major recruiting site that has released a list for 2013.  Right now, the class has 21 commitments and most assume it will finish somewhere around 23-24.  From all accounts, Michigan is looking to add a running back, wide receiver, and a defensive back, at least.  Now, whether Michigan will get suitable players for those positions can be debated, but why risk not having room for those players?  Michigan could theoretically get 4 or more players that are rated as at least a 4* by the recruiting services.  I see no way Michigan could add all those players to its class without going over the scholarship limits.  Essentially, you are giving up the shot at a 4* or 5* recruit for a long snapper that wasn't even rated by many services and after he gets rated does anybody really think he's going to be a 4* or 5* recruit?  I certainly don't see it.  Basically, Michigan not only used a scholarship on a position that in most cases doesn't deserve a scholarship, but they could have sacrificed getting an elite player for that scholarship as well.


Final Points

Tyler -Tom makes great points and I agree with some of them. But say they do leave room for some top 5* guys such as a Treadwell or Green and they commit elsewhere.  Then Michigan is going out there finding guys that weren't even on their board to begin with and not of the caliber as those guys just to fill scholarship slots.  Sure, it creates for depth, but many of them might not even work out well for the team.  Sypniewski isn't the popular choice or the flashiest choice, but he is a kid that's talented and could make an immediate impact.  You are looking for those types of players when you are offering scholarships and getting commitments.  Special teams is an important part of the game these days, so he may not have an impact on the stats sheet but will still be meaningful to the game.  So I like the commitment and am happy that he's a Michigan man.

Thomas - I don't think this commitment is a team or recruiting class killer by any means and I do agree that he's a talented prospect at his position.  However, we need to take a step back and look at the position again.  We're talking about sacrificing key scholarship slots, future depth, and maybe a shot at the #1 recruiting class this season for a position that many admit could probably be filled by a walk-on.  I have absolutely nothing against the kid and wish him the best at Michigan, as all fans should do, but I am concerned that offering this scholarship will prove more costly than most assume.  I agree that there is a need, but you couldn't train one of the numerous back-up offensive linemen, defensive linemen, or a walk-on to do the job?  Like I said, this will never be a major loss for the team, but if the coaching staff continues making moves like this, you have to have concern for some future aspects of the team.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with  their thoughts

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