Shortly after Sam York graduates from Marblehead High School this spring, he’ll head for Columbus, Ohio to begin his football career as a Buckeye.
A football long snapper, York is a preferred walk-on candidate for the Ohio State team and its head coach, Urban Meyer.
It all started when York volunteered for the job as long snapper on his eighth grade football team. He was a center/middle linebacker who was willing to learn how to snap because the team needed somebody to do it.
But the story doesn’t end there; York took his new responsibilities very seriously and worked diligently to improve his game. He began going to different camps during the summer to hone his skill and get tips from the best in the business.
Every day during football season, York stayed late snapping to the kicker in order to become better at something he loves to do. He also spent hours on the phone trying to reach special team college coaches to tell them what he could offer their program.
“After the (2013) season I didn’t have any offers from Division 1 schools, and just a few from D-3s,” said York, who decided not to play lacrosse this spring in order to concentrate on long snapping. “It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure, and very discouraging at times. I’m so excited that it all paid off.
Finding the right college for both football and his major — owner of a 3.6 grade point average, York wants to become a mechanical engineer — was a challenge. But a week after National Signing Day he began talking to coaches at Ohio State, and a while later made his decision to head to Columbus.
“It came down to Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue or Fordham,” said York. “Fordman graduated both their long snapper and field goal kicker snapper; they said I’d be their man, but I would have had to take some of my engineering classes at (nearby) Columbia University. I didn’t feel that was the best fit for me, but I know I’m very fortunate to have had excellent choices, including FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools.