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Undrafted long snapper starts to wonder about finding a real job

Courtesy of University of Virginia
Cavalier's long-snapper Danny Aiken.

We’ve noted a few times this offseason that for all the uncertainty surrounding the lockout, undrafted rookies might be the people who are in the greatest state of uncertainty. And when you’re an undrafted rookie long snapper, that uncertainty increases exponentially.

Danny Aiken was a long snapper at Virginia and the only long snapper invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but he wasn’t drafted. Now he isn’t sure whether he should keep living at home and helping his mom with her landscaping business while putting most of his energy into practicing his long snapping, or if he should put his degree from Virginia to good use elsewhere.

“If it drags out longer, I’ll probably have to find a real job somewhere and figure a way to make everything work —- helping my mom, snapping and everything else,” Aiken told the Washington Post. “But I’ll take that step when it comes. As of right now, all I can do is try to be prepared for the day the lockout does finally end.”

There probably aren’t a lot of “real jobs” looking to hire football players planning to quit just as soon as the lockout ends, so Aiken’s prospects probably aren’t great. Aiken will just need to hope the lockout ends soon. Like the rest of us.

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20 Responses to “Undrafted long snapper starts to wonder about finding a real job”
  1. jaggedmark says: Jul 5, 2011 11:56 AM

    Okay, now you’re scraping the bottom of the news barrel for stories.

    An undrafted “long snapper” Really?

  2. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jul 5, 2011 12:06 PM

    I’d look for a new job anyway, lol.
    Seems like it’d be easier to teach a current player how to be a long-snapper than pay someone who ONLY long-snaps.
    Plus, that’s a valuable roster spot that can be used for someone who is…you know…more valuable like say a kicker, lol.

  3. contraryguy says: Jul 5, 2011 12:13 PM

    This headline reads like something from The Onion.

  4. savocabol1 says: Jul 5, 2011 12:16 PM

    Thousands of regular college kids leave college after each semester without the prospect of a job. Welcome to the real world kid.

  5. micker716 says: Jul 5, 2011 12:18 PM

    Welcome to the real world.

  6. dbellina says: Jul 5, 2011 12:18 PM

    Get a job at Subway or McDonalds. They already have a high turnover rate for employees, so they’ll be used to having one quit after a month or two.

  7. ICDogg says: Jul 5, 2011 12:22 PM

    Oh snap!

  8. baronvonmonocle says: Jul 5, 2011 1:07 PM

    contraryguy says:
    Jul 5, 2011 12:13 PM
    This headline reads like something from The Onion.
    ———————————–

    That’s exactly what I thought. Give it time. If the lockout goes much longer, they might have to resort to The Onion to find stories.

  9. stinkfist5 says: Jul 5, 2011 1:25 PM

    He has a degree from UVA, he’ll be just fine.

  10. granadafan says: Jul 5, 2011 1:36 PM

    Football players should be preparing for a real job anyways. Football can be taken away just like that whether due to injuries, being a bust, or through lockouts. Shame on many college programs for not preparing players for a real job anyways. Most of the blame, however, goes to the player himself for not taking advantage of the FREE education, all the tutors regular students don’t have access to, and the alumni connections.

  11. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Jul 5, 2011 1:42 PM

    @bearsrulepackdrool,

    long snapping is very difficult and can’t be taught to just any current player, even the center. If this skill set was easily taught believe me that teams would not be holding on to an extra guy just to have him. Those roster spots are extremely valuable and are used wisely.

  12. winkeroni says: Jul 5, 2011 1:54 PM

    Long Snapper is an underrated position. There is a reason that teams are willing to sacrifice 1 of the active 45 roster spots to a specialist like a long snapper. A good snap decreases the chances of a blocked or mishandled punt/field goal attempt.

  13. anarchopurplism says: Jul 5, 2011 2:06 PM

    Find out who the top 10 boosters are for Virginia. Call each to see if they have something you can do for them while you train. Someone may have a manual labor type of deal or maybe you can go along on sales meetings or something.

    You have an opportunity to work in a family business with landscaping?

    COUNT YOURSELF BLESSED! Nobody feels sorry for you. The sky is the limit kid & you have WAY more opportunities than most.

  14. igor1984 says: Jul 5, 2011 2:52 PM

    “… Nobody feels sorry for you.” – From anarchopurplism

    I feel sorry for the kid because my son is also an undrafted college FA with 5-8 teams that “will make him a camp offer when the CBA is finalized” and he’s still waiting, trying to keep in shape, trying to eat, trying move forward with his life. There’s no agent paying him anything or covering his bills while this stupid lockout goes on and on.

    It amazes me the number of people who post stuff like “get used to it” or “stop whining” and many other negative comments aimed at young men who are just trying to get a job doing what they love and what they are good at – and through no fault of their own, are having to go through a lot of crap to get there. If any of you guys had kids that graduated from college, were qualified to start work, but were denied the opportunity to complete the interview process and start earning a paycheck, you’d all be going on Oprah or calling your congressman to demand your kids get “fair treatment.”

    Good luck, Mr. Aiken – hang-in there and I hope to see you playing on Sundays in the near future.

  15. notoriousjebus says: Jul 5, 2011 4:37 PM

    @igor1984

    Your post hits the nail on the head. There is so much hate and petty jealousy in the comments on this site that it would be laughable if it wasn’t so heartless.

    An undrafted rookie FA basically only gets this one chance to break into the league, and if things don’t work out for them this go around, regardless of their talent, they will never get the chance to play in the NFL.

    Someone that just graduated from college can start looking for jobs immediately and go on as many interviews as they can get, it’s not like that for guys trying to break into the league.

    You can’t blame these guys for wanting to get in there and take their one shot, instead of going out and trying to find some job that they’ll have to leave the moment the lockout ends. If he does make a roster he isn’t going to get a multi-million dollar contract, at best he can get signed to a 2 year deal for the league minimum with a $10k signing bonus and at worse he’s not going to make a roster and what he worked for since a 5 year old isn’t going to materialize.

  16. kindbass says: Jul 5, 2011 4:52 PM

    He should have started thinking about a real job the moment he was an *undrafted long-snapper*

  17. thompgk says: Jul 5, 2011 5:32 PM

    When you are 22 years old, you have your whole life ahead of you. He needs to get a temporary job and focus on keeping himself in shape.

    Not everyone is locked into a career the second they leave college and there isn’t anything weird about waiting for good prospects to come your way.

  18. cmstrick says: Jul 5, 2011 7:01 PM

    Oh, that poor, healthy, college-educated young white man. How will he ever make it?

  19. walsh68 says: Jul 5, 2011 9:02 PM

    hey, newsflash for you people who nothing about football, 99% of long snapper ARE undrafted free agents, NFL teams aren’t gonna waste a draft pick a long snapper

  20. Slackmo says: Jul 6, 2011 1:13 AM

    Who cares about this, I need an update on the Eric Weddle v. Alka Seltzer situation!

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