Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic long snapper Chris Sayan has a decision to make after he picked up multiple preferred walk-on opportunities in the last week.
After Sayan’s snapping impressed as a senior with Bergen Catholic, both Rutgers and Holy Cross extended preferred walk-on offers.
Sayan officially visited Holy Cross, where he was told a scholarship is open if he wins the starting job. Rutgers special teams assistant Rocco DiMeco gave Sayan a preferred walk-on opportunity in the Big Ten.
“Recruiting has been a pretty stressful process, but it definitely has picked up, for me, in the last few weeks,” Sayan said. “…[DiMeco] has been in pretty close contact, and he offered me a preferred walk-on on Monday.
“I was at the Indiana game, invited to that, and it’s really exciting because my punter John Bowers is committed to Rutgers. A lot of the guys that I train with have all gotten looked at pretty closely by Rutgers as well. It will be exciting to possibly play with guys I’ve been so close with these last few years.”
Sayan, like all athletes, wants a scholarship opportunity, but is not set on one if it does not work out. Rutgers already has one long snapper on scholarship in sophomore Alan Lucy.
“As a long snapper, you can’t really go into the recruiting process expecting to get a scholarship because that’s so rare,” Sayan said. “Any preferred walk-on, especially from a Big Ten school, is definitely something that is worthy of congratulations.”
Born in New Brunswick at St. Peter’s Hospital, and spending plenty of time in Central Jersey as a child, Rutgers will be a finalist for Sayan’s upcoming decision.
“I would say I’ll decide in the next week or so,” he said. “Rutgers will definitely be in there, because there is so much to like and a lot of opportunity.”
Sayan was a late bloomer to football. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder had sights set on basketball before high school before athletics took a change during his sophomore year.
Inspired as a fan when he watched Bergen Catholic blow out Huntington Station (N.Y.) St. Anthony’s, Sayan moved on a whim to prevent his athletic career from an early ending.
The Leonia, N.J., resident played well enough to earn a spot on the NUC All-American game in South Carolina after his senior season ended.
“I knew nothing about football going into high school,” Sayan said. “My sophomore year, I don’t know what possessed me to do this but I emailed the varsity head coach (Nunzio Campanile) to say I wanted to play football. I was the fifth-string tight end. I knew nothing about the game whatsoever.
“… I helped out the kickers, and John Bowers was adamant about teaching me how to long snap. At the time, I had no clue what that was but I knew it was the only way I could further my football career.”