- Class: Sophomore (Eligibility 4)
- On the depth chart: Starting long-snapper
- Post-spring status: Unchanged
A three-star prospect per 24/7’s composite rankings and the consensus No. 1 long-snapper in the 2015 recruiting class, Shannon participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. His Loyola Academy squad finished 14-0 en route to the Illinois High School Association Class 8A championship.
He redshirted last season behind fifth-year senior Scott Daly.
“A guy that has made really significant progress – and you guys don’t care as much about (it) but it keeps me up – is John Shannon. We’re asking him to do a lot more than we did last year, and he’s made significant progress.” – Brian Kelly
BEST CASE SCENARIO
To be unlike the classic television hit Cheers! whereas Shannon hopes – at least for the next four football seasons – that nobody knows his name.
At least not the casual fan, because for a long snapper that equates to a job well done: no airmailed snaps, no errant snaps that lead to blocked punts, no blocked kicks traceable to his snapping error.
None of the above.
For the sake of reference, Shannon’s predecessor Scott Daly finished with four tackles in punt coverage over his four seasons as a starter. Long snappers cannot be touched post-punt until they’ve begun to pursue downfield – as a result, their tackles generally occur upon the catch an result in minimal gains.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
Battery failure, i.e. something similar to the snap/hold/kick machine that helped waylay the 2014 football season when said triumvirate erred (more than once) in a victory against Stanford and later in losses to Arizona State, Northwestern, and Louisville.
The trio (Scott Daly, Malik Zaire, Kyle Brindza) regrouped for perfect execution on the game-winning field goal over LSU in Nashville to conclude the disjointed campaign.
There haven’t been many persistent snap/hold error combinations in recent Irish football, but the 2014 season was undeniable impacted by them.
Shannon’s first season as a starter comes on the heels of four straight by both Scott Daly (2013-16) and Jordan Cowart (2009-2012). The latter is not in the NFL while the former hopes to catch on with the Chicago Bears (or elsewhere) as a rookie this summer.
The gold standard for Irish long snappers is current Carolina Panther J.J. Jansen (2005-2007) – he of the recently inked five-year deal worth an estimated $5.5 million.