By DERON SNYDER
The initials that indicate football positions are well known. QB for quarterback and LB for linebacker. DE for defensive end and WR for wide receiver. P for punter and K for kicker. But if you want a good way to stump some folks, ask them what LS stands for.
And if you want a good way to irritate some youth players, ask them to fill the overlooked position.
“Typically, the long snapper isn’t something anyone aspires to be,” says the Atlanta Falcons’ Josh Harris (Auburn). “I have no idea why my Pop Warner coach picked me. Frankly, I wasn’t thrilled when he said I was going to be the long snapper. He demonstrated it one time and I got down into that stance and tried to throw the best spiral I could.
“Now I’m very thankful he put me in that position.” Harris has much to be grateful for. Perfecting the art of snapping footballs up to 15 yards through his legs allowed him to experience two childhood dreams. That’s two more than he imagined possible as he left high school for college.
Harris was a three-sport athlete, a wrestler who played football and baseball in Carrollton, Ga., about 45 minutes west of Atlanta. He didn’t garner much interest as a linebacker and defensive end. But one of his assistant coaches realized Harris had a gift for snapping and suggested that he walk on at a major college.
Choosing the school was easy because he grew up as a huge Auburn fan. A slew of relatives had attended, including his grandfather James Morrow, a member of Auburn’s 1957 national championship team. Still, Harris wasn’t crazy about the idea.