Brady's recruiting path is different

Brady's recruiting path is different

January 29th, 2015 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Silverdale Baptist Academy Seahawks center Josh Brady snaps the ball to quarterback Nathan Keylon in this 2013 file photo.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

In some circles Josh Brady is known well, and those circles are scattered across the continental United States.

But they are small circles, and relatively few. The Silverdale Baptist Academy football player plays a virtually anonymous game within a game.

He is recognized as one of the nation's best long-snapping centers, yet he often goes unnoticed outside of long-snapping camps and competitions.

Even more than offensive line teammates, Brady toils unnoticed unless he makes a mistake. It's a life he has come to accept, and he and his family have taken on college recruiting as another challenge.

"A kid like that is different from a quarterback, running back or receiver, or even other offensive linemen," one coach said of the recruiting process. "It's a specialty."

The frequent-flyer miles and the hours spent in a car have mounted over the years for Brady and his dad, Brent. They've learned the back roads and shortcuts from Athens, Ga., to Starkville, Miss., and Auburn, Ala,. and have come to know the airports in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Tampa.

"I'd say over the last four years we've driven 25,000 miles, and that's probably a conservative estimate," Brent Brady said.

Last summer wasn't the first for the short-haul overnight trips for one- and two-day camps, many of which were designed specifically for snappers, kickers and punters. But in the summer of 2014 alone Josh attended camps at Georgia, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Samford, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Kentucky, UT-Chattanooga, Austin Peay, Kennesaw State, Mercer and Western Carolina, plus numerous combines and clinics.

The Bradys have gotten to know the coaches, specifically special-teams coaches, at most of the schools.

"If somebody is looking at game film of somebody else, you probably won't get noticed," said Josh, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder who is ranked second nationally among long-snappers for the 2016 graduating class. "You have to get to special-teams coaches and get them your film. Those are the ones that really matter. As a snapper you're in the shadows as long as you're protecting the punter (and kicker) and doing your job."

Among trips already on this summer's itinerary is one to Wisconsin.

But unless a scholarship offer comes through before June, the Bradys will be on the road again with plans already being made for camps at UTC, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Mercer and Samford.

"We've looked at rosters and pared the list because some of the schools don't need a long-snapper, but we'll add other schools after our research and try to get to those camps this summer," Brent said. "We have to be realistic regarding budgets, especially as far as walk-on status."

There is much to be done before then, and college costs will remain a factor.

"I spend three or four days a week in the weight room, and then the agility drills and snapping I do on my own," Josh said. "The weight room is very important to get the shoulders strong and improve my times. I have done yoga for flexibility -- getting the hamstrings and hips loose -- because flexibility is more important than strength."

And still the way colleges look at long-snappers differs. Some will look at combine results, which include 40-yard dash and shuttle times and bench-press and squat numbers.

"Some are looking for kids that can get downfield quickly," Josh said. "Most colleges have specialist camps and you go in for either a one- or two-day event with competitions at the end. It's a different atmosphere than a regular camp because snapping is all form and there's a lot of film work, often frame by frame.

"I know that one snap can change the whole tempo of a game. Just like a quarterback wanting to make good throws, I want to be consistent all the time."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.


Loading...