NEW LONDON, N.C. --- Drew Little has already received a preferred walk-on offer from North Carolina, despite being a 2019 prospect. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound North Stanly High product is considered the nation's third best long snapper in his class.
"He has great form," long snapping guru Chris Rubio said. "He's a very hardworking kid; he's one of those kids that you can just tell him what to do and just consider it done. He's a smooth long snapper -- very little wasted movement [and] the ball really jumps out of the gate very, very well."
According to Rubio Long Snapping, Little is ranked as the nation's No. 3 long snapper for the 2019 class.
"I've seen him [perform] probably 25 times and he just gets bigger, better, stronger, and faster," Rubio said. "If he keeps up this pace, he'll definitely be a major Division I college [prospect]. In the past three years alone, I've had over 350 of my long snappers go to college. Usually if you're in my top 20, you're a scholarship guy."
A snap time of .75 seconds is typical for a college long snapper. Little reports a long snap speed in the .67-second range.
Like many, Little aspired to play college football. At a young age, he realized his best chance of fulfilling his dream was as a long snapper. Thus, during the summer of his eighth grade year he seriously took up the position. That included attending camps nationwide.
"Drew is the perfect example of somebody who knew what the goal was and accomplished it," North Stanly head coach Scott Crissco said. "He's been all over the country learning his trade.
"Drew's position is a position that coaches really don't appreciate until something bad happens."
Since his freshman season, Little has handled all of North Stanly's long snapping duties.
"That's one more element I don't have to think about on Friday nights," Crissco said. "If we have an in-between field goal we want to kick in a spot where we're not quite sure, I never have to think, 'Is the snap going to be there? What happens if there's a bad snap?' I never think about it. If we're going to punt in a situation that's kind of critical, I never think about [the snap]."
As a sophomore, Little became North Stanly's starting middle linebacker.
"Another thing that's lost on Drew is he's a pretty good linebacker," Crissco said. "He's got a little physicality to him."
In late March, Drew Little received a life-altering phone call from Chris Kapilovic, who recruits Stanly County for North Carolina.
"He said I'm the No. 1 long snapper on their chart and they want me to come in as a preferred walk-on," Little said. "I was really happy about that, because I never thought I'd be able to play at Carolina."
Additionally, Kapilovic said there's a strong possibility the preferred walk-on offer could be converted into a scholarship offer before Little's actual enrollment.
"They're waiting on their numbers," Little said. "They want to see how their numbers are going to shake out."
In addition to UNC, Little is hearing from Charlotte, Clemson, NC State, South Carolina, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
Little, who has made countless visits to Chapel Hill for camps, games, etc., says UNC is the team to beat.
"It's my home [state] school," Little said. "It's like my dream school. I've been going there ever since Antonio [Williams] was going there. It's the school I've been growing up loving. It's like home to me."
Williams is a former four-star running back who spent time on UNC's commitment list before eventually signing with Ohio State.
Despite his strong feelings, Little said he will wait at least a year before choosing a school.
Little also plays right field and pitches for North Stanly's baseball team... Little plans to major in biomedical engineering... Several of Little's family members graduated from or are currently enrolled at UNC, including a pair of aunts, an uncle, and a cousin.