University of Hawaii long-snapper Luke Ingram welcomes the pressure that comes whenever he touches the football. In fact, Ingram thrives on those “six to 10” plays that come with snapping for punts, field goals and extra-point tries.
“It’s beneficial if you look at it that way because it mentally prepares you that it’s not just one game or one practice,” Ingram said at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. “Being a long-snapper is the difference of one play. There’s definitely no chance for redemption. That’s what you go into when you accept the job of being a long-snapper. There’s not much glory, but it’s a job. You get paid for it and you still help your team win. I think snapping is a great position. If you can play 10 years and nobody knows your name, you did your job. That’s how long-snapping is.
“I think that’s one of the things that kept me in the job, wanting to play. Only getting six to 10 plays a game, when you do get your opportunity to go, it’s a great feeling. I don’t really find that feeling anywhere else of that adrenaline and that pressure, which I enjoy.”
That pressure of accurately hitting his targets on punts and field goal tries is something Ingram says helps him execute a good snap.
“I’m a big guy of consistency and repetition,” Ingram said. “Everything I do is exactly the same, from how I approach to which foot I set first to how I grab the ball to which way the ball is facing me. If everything’s always the same, when something does go wrong, then, you can figure out what it was because something didn’t feel right. You’re used to everything feeling the same.”
According to Ingram, part of executing the perfect snap on a punt comes with keeping the football at or below the punter’s hip. In doing so, Ingram will allow the punter to keep his head down and focus on punting the ball without seeing the oncoming rush.
“The punt is definitely more of an explosive snap,” Ingram said. “You’re snapping 15 yards, and a field goal, you snap it seven or eight. It’s more explosive, a little more of a violent movement. On a PAT or field goal, you just want to have more of a finesse snap, nice and clean, consistent, not too hot, just anywhere your holder can trust the ball is going to be. You get it back there so he can catch it and get it in its spot so you can have a successful kick.”
Ingram took up long-snapping at Mililani High School in Oahu, Hawaii. His older brother, Jake, took up long-snapping while at the University of Hawaii, and the two learned how to perfect their crafts together.
Jake took his talents all the way to the NFL, where he spent 2009 and part of 2010 with the New England Patriots before playing in one game with the New Orleans Saints at the end of the 2010 season.
“Jake jumped out of stretching one day to learn how to snap because he didn’t want to stretch,” Ingram said. “Meanwhile, I was a freshman in high school and we kind of picked it up at the same time. To tell you the truth, we kind of taught each other. We both gave each other a lot of tips throughout our years of snapping. He’s definitely been a big, influential part in my career.
“It’s kind of a strange coincidence. Jake always had a passion for sports and played football. He always wanted to be a D-end or linebacker, and me being the younger brother, I just wanted to do what he did, follow in his footsteps. I did that in high school. He went to the University of Hawaii; I went to the University of Hawaii. It’s definitely a big coincidence and it’s a blessing.”