John Baxter says Scott Sypniewski 'gutted it up' for football team despite illness

Special teams coach John Baxter opens up about Scott Sypniewski's flu he suffered from during Michigan's win over Indiana.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Typically when it comes to the long snapper position, if the fans don't know your name it usually means that you're getting the job done. It's also a person that doesn't often get brought up during media sessions with people around the program either.

For Michigan long snapper Scott Sypniewski, fans and the media alike knew his name. Not because of a bad snap or playing poorly because of the pure gutsy performance shown by him over the weekend. First there was Michael Jordan's flu game, then there was Snypniewski's.

All joking and comparison aside, special teams coach John Baxter was asked about Sypniewski and the flu he was suffering from Saturday night against Indiana. One that forced him to drive to the game instead of flying.

Baxter was proud to speak of him.

"It's a general policy not to talk about player's whatever," Baxter said. "But I can say this: That kid gutted it up for that football team as much as I've ever seen a guy do it. He had a 103-temperature, couldn't keep anything down all the way through pregame and literally kept reducing that game in five minute segments. Basically he stayed in quarantine away from his teammates because of the flu and those kinds of things and fighting nausea, the fatigues and the aches that come with that."

If Harbaugh hadn't mentioned Sypniewski's illness after U-M's victory over Indiana, no one probably would've noticed the difference. Aside from one bad snap, the kicking unit didn't miss a beat. He was that tough in the face of illness.

Something that Baxter enjoys as a coach.

"We had one snap that cost us a field goal opportunuity but, my goodness, to see that kid man up - however you want to put it - and fight for his team, it was great," Baxter said. "Those are the kinds of things, the life skills, that I think are really a great part of being a coach and a teacher and seeing young people learn those kinds of things about themselves."

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