Snaps on Snaps on Snaps

Nathan Theus is a longsnapper and the older brother to an elite prospect--but those associations don't define him.

CALLAHAN, Fla. – Occupying space on the sideline, Nathan Theus was doing—well, what Nathan Theus does.

While his former Bolles teammates (elite prospect younger brother John Theus among them) were busy collecting two wins in a spring jamboree, Theus was longsnapping.


The 2011 Georgia signee was the first longsnapper coach Mark Richt offered a full scholarship straight out of high school in his decade of recruiting.

So it wasn't all that surprising to see Theus snapping the ball to a fresh-faced underclassman that wasn't wearing pads.

And I thought to myself: Is this all he does? Could he be showing out for Mike Bobo and Will Friend, who just happened to be standing roughly 20 feet away?

Nathan Theus at Dawg Night in 2010.
When I think of longsnappers, I think of the word specialist. And when I think of the word specialist, I associate terms like niche and expert and role.

These would be incorrect assumptions.

Athletically, Theus shouldn't be defined as "just a longsnapper." That's just the thing he's best at. He's an athletic guy that thrives on contact and physicality.

For instance, looking to fill the void left after football season, Theus picked up lacrosse in the 11th grade. Naturally, he rambled through people, scoring goals in ways that aren't supposed to happen.

"I have one video where I score a goal on defense," Theus said. "That's kind of a fun hobby."

I introduced myself by saying; "I spoke to you for a story about rooming with David Andrews."

He smiled. He remembered.

"Got time to talk," I asked.

"Yeah, since we're (Bolles) not on offense," he answered. I thought this was a throwaway comment, mainly meant as a joke, and I asked my first question, purposely avoiding talk of longsnapping.

We chatted for over 10 minutes and he finally cut me off…"We're back on offense. I'll talk more after this drive."

Another assumption I made was proven false. He was genuinely interested in the game—and especially interested in watching his younger brother mash people from the left tackle position. Nathan was only snapping when Bolles was on defense, or when he wasn't helping John out.

"I just told him something that could help when we run sweeps," Nathan says. "I'm not sure if that helped him on the last drive or not."

John Theus, a year younger than Nathan, is so good at mashing people, has him rated as fifth best prospect in the entire nation. And Georgia is at the top of the long list of schools to have offered.

Word is, the Bulldogs are a heavy favorite, as long as Mark Richt and Bobo are around next February.

John Theus is a top-five prospect in the nation (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

"Selfishly, I'd love to pull him to Georgia, not even for the football team, but just so I can have a brother there," Nathan said. "I'm not pulling him to Georgia. A lot of people on the websites don't like that. They want you to be all Georgia or all Florida or all South Carolina, but I don't hate anybody. I think everybody has a lot to offer, and Georgia was my fit. John has to find his fit, and it just might be a little bit harder to find."

It may be hip to say Nathan received his full ride to Georgia in order to supplement the recruitment of John—after all, longsnappers don't usually get a scholarship straight out of 12th grade, especially not at Georgia.

"Coaches are still calling and coming by because they were recruiting me, and now they're recruiting John," Nathan said. "For me, I can really tell who wants John because they'll talk to me only about him, but there are some sincere guys out there that will talk only about me. It was kind of fun to play the game."

It's easy to assume coaches who offered Nathan (Arkansas and South Carolina also heavily pursed him) were looking for the frontend of a potential lethal package deal. That could very well be what happened.

Nonetheless, Nathan is now in Athens, the reasons matter not. And he'll be competing with incumbent Ty Frix for the starting job this season.

"Nobody says a bad word about Ty," Nathan said. "We'll see what happens, but I'm looking to have a mentor like that for this first year."

John may or may not follow his older brother to Athens—but that shouldn't define how Nathan is perceived. Calling him a longsnapper or John's brother would both be factual. But limiting him to those associations doesn't do him justice.

Nathan and John Theus flash their state title rings (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

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