Position series feature - Grant Donovan

The University of Louisville football team position series continues with special teams and a feature on long snapper Grant Donovan. The redshirt sophomore is a key member of the special teams this season.

University of Louisville redshirt sophomore Grant Donovan has a pretty good idea when he's doing his job on the football field.

"My name isn't know and I want to keep it that way," Donovan said. "If my name is ever called, then I know I didn't do something right."

The former Male High School standout is the long snapper on punts, extra points and field goals for the Cardinals. He started last season at the position and will again hold down the spot on U of L special teams this season.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Donovan didn't miss a snap as a junior or senior in high school and special teams coach Kenny Carter said he's been "very good," at U of L.

"The position is so critical," Carter said. "Some people take it for granted, but we don't take it for granted. The level of expertise that he has, both long and short snapping, gives me the opportunity to do multiple things scheme wise.

"He does a really good job for us in that position."

Donovan played four years under Bob Redman at Male and was named special teams MVP for four years. He played tight end as a senior and caught 35 passes for 561 yards and 10 touchdowns.

But Donovan knew at the next level he was a special teams guy.

Donovan said he knew coming to U of L would allow him to play early because the Cardinals needed a back up. He took over the spot last season.

"I don't have a whole lot of people pushing me," Donovan said with a laugh. "I'm the only snapper. But I just keep pushing myself. I want perfect snaps.

"No matter what happens, I just want to make sure the snap is not the issue."

Carter said the staff puts Donovan through drills to make his delivery time faster and also is able to use him in a variety of ways on the punt team.

"We give him two things he has to do and we can adjust the scheme and that's how we give people trouble," Carter said. "We release him and also use him in protection. He does a really good job of fronting the returner and making him fair catch."

Donovan said he watches film every day on other snappers from around the country and "sees how I compare on times and things like that."

"I just have to be as perfect as I can," Donovan said.

As a sophomore, Donovan is the veteran of the specialty guys on the U of L roster. John Wallace and Matthew Nakatani are battling for the kicker position, while Joshua Appleby and Ryan Johnson are both punters.

Donovan is the only one of those players who has been in a game at U of L.

"Coach Carter said I need to keep all of them under wraps," Donovan said with a smile. "It's a good group and everybody is getting better."


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