Unsung Hero

The job isn't glamorous, but it is essential to a successful special teams unit. Landon Schrage, Iowa State's deep snapper, will begin his senior season with the Cyclones' this year. The Parkersburg native was an integral reason Iowa State didn't have a single punt blocked a season ago.

CN:  Discuss the importance of being the deep snapper? 
LS:  One bad snap can change the momentum of the game.  My goal is perfection every time I go out on the field, that way I know that I am doing my role as part of the team.  
CN:  What's a typical practice like for you?
LS: I usually try to snap at different times in practice.  I snap when I'm warmed up and when I haven't warmed up as much.  You never know what's going to happen in a game so I try perform in a variety of scenarios.
CN: How did your times improve from the beginning of last season to the bowl game?
LS:  I don't think my "snap time" improved as much as the operation time between the punter and I.  What really matters for the punt team is how fast we can get the punt off. The punter and I have to be on the same page every snap. 
CN: What was it like receiving the Jim Doran award last season? (The Jim Doran award is given to the top special teams performer).
LS: I was quite honored to have received the award because I know that there were quite a few other members of the punt and field goal teams that could have deservingly received it too
CN: What things have you worked on over the summer?
LS:  I am always trying to lower my snap times and fine tune my accuracy. 
CN: Iowa State didn't have any punts blocked last season –what was key?
LS: We didn't have any punts blocked last year because of the group of guys we had on the punt team.  Everyone on the punt team made it a priority to get the job done. 
CN: When did you start playing football? What positions did you start out at? Were you a deep snapper in high school? 
LS: I started playing football in 7th grade.  I was a tight end and defensive end in middle school and all the way through high school.  I also started deep snapping when I was in 7th grade, so it's a job that I have been doing for quite a while.  
CN:  At one point did you play on the defensive line at Iowa State?
LS: I played defensive end my first two seasons at Iowa State. That all ended in the spring of my redshirt freshman year due to a knee injury.  From that point on I devoted myself strictly to long snapping.  
CN: Talk about the experience of playing on the same collegiate team as your brother. (Landon's brother Taylor, a redshirt sophomore, plays linebacker for the Cyclones).
It was great having him around all the time. Being able to play with him on our high school team and then as Cyclones was very special to the both of us.  
CN: Expectations are high for this season; does the team feel a lot more pressure?
LS:  Among the team atmosphere I don't sense any pressure, but there is a lot of excitement about the up coming season among the team, which is driving us to work harder towards our expectations. 

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