DITR: Long Snapper Timothy Ryals, Frankston High School (Frankston, Texas)

Timothy Ryals is a 5’8, 179 lb long snapper from the class of 2025. Timothy is very unique in the fact that long snapping is his main position. Many athletes will primarily play a skill position and do long snapping on the side, but Timothy is all in on the position. Due to this, he has put in countless hours of work and has mastered the long snapping technique. Timothy credits Special Teams University for giving him a training regimen to stick with to improve his techniques. He is very technical when he talks about long snapping, citing his use of triceps whenever he long snaps. Tricep training and specifically tricep extensions are a common practice that long snappers use. Tricep extensions help strengthen your tricep muscle group and in turn help you snap the ball more accurately and with more power. Timothy also cites following through as an effective part of his game. Going through the full motion will help you direct the ball more accurately into the placeholders hands. Along with this, Timothy realized if he puts more emphasis on his left hand when he snaps, the ball will go more towards the right and vice versa. He uses this effectively whenever he needs to put the ball in a unique spot. Long snapping is a position where you can seldom mess up and Timothy understands that. He shows immense dedication to long snapping and his only goal is to improve his game. He spends hours in the gym everyday, and you can tell by his weight room stats. Timothy has impressive maxs in the bench press (235 lbs), squat (425 lbs), and deadlift (435 lbs). This strength is a key reason he is so effective at long snapping. While Timothy is mainly a long snapper, he also plays running back and outside linebacker and has received some hardware from those positions. Timothy was most recently named as a 1st team all district running back and honorable mention for his duties as an outside linebacker. Timothy is a versatile player who I have no doubt will find his role in college football.

What made you fall in love with the game of football?

I fell in love with this game because of my two youth football coaches. I was really hesitant about playing tackle but I had started playing flag. Once I started getting really involved with it and paying attention to NFL guys, it really helped grow my interest. Once I was in my second year of playing, I started looking at Von Miller because I was a big defensive guy. I also looked at Patrick Richard as inspiration.

What are some goals for yourself and your team next season? 

Coming into my senior season, I want to be a big leader. I want to show underclassmen what it takes to perform at the next level.

Being a long snapper is a very unique talent, what drew you in and made you realize that was the position for you?

My freshman year I decided to take long snapping more seriously. I found that we had a senior, who also ended up being my cousin, who is also a long snapper so I wanted to show him up. I started training more with it and realized I was actually pretty good at it. Sophomore year I was the starting long snapper but there was a game where I was in at running back and they threw me the ball. I ran for about 30 yards before I landed on the ground and broke the left metacarpal in my hand. That took me out until homecoming but it’s still hard snapping with a cast on your hand. When I found out I could beat some people out for the long snapping position, I feel like I can stick with it and take it with me to college.

What are you doing outside of regular team practices to improve your game?

We have a separate split of offense on Mondays and at the end of practice, we put some defensive reps in. Tuesday is mainly defense with some offense at the end. Wednesday is what we call “Hay in the Barn day” where we make sure that everything is perfect and then we get ready for Friday. Thursday is our special teams day and where I get to shine. On Mondays, about 3 of my buddies and I line across from each other and do some long snapping workouts. We do underhand flips because it helps technique immensely.

Do you have a favorite long snapper or a long snapper that you try and study?

I do. I really like Luke Rhodes from the Indianapolis Colts. He’s the main one that I focus on. I see what he does in football but also what he does off the field. He is a strong believer in christ and I see that reflect on me because I am also a strong believer. His football game is pretty good too, I think he’s the best I’ve seen.

What is your dream college and have you been in talks with any?

I went to a camp in Cypress, Texas where I got to speak with the coaches from West Georgia, Southwestern, Texas Wesleyan, and TVCC. I really clicked with the head coach from West Georgia. They really stood out to me.

How do you think playing baseball improves your game as a football player?

Baseball is really an “individual, team sport”. With long snapping I have everyone relying on me to get the ball back there safely and timely. That’s really how it comes down to me.

What is the most challenging part of playing long snapper?

The main one is pressure. You have to be perfect all the time.
Picture credits: Michel Alfaro

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I always listen to the same playlist on gameday. If I don’t listen to the same playlist then it’s probably not going to go the best. I haven’t experimented with it yet but I kinda don’t want to. Sometimes it works and sometimes I’ll change it up a tad and add a few songs to it but by the time it comes game day, I don’t listen to anything but that playlist. For home games, we normally go and eat at the football cafeteria because our moms and coaches have a pregame meal. I always sit at the same table, same spot, same drink, different food, and I sit with the same teammates. I’ve had the same locker since freshman year so I guess that’s a big superstitious thing with me.

Who is your way too-early Super Bowl winner prediction?

Dallas Cowboys. I hope it’s going to be Cowboys- Texans.