Trojans add long snapper

The Trojans added a future long snapper to the roster this week when Nolan Owen from Temescal Canyon High School accepted an offer to join the USC program as a preferred walk-on. Click below to read more:

During the Pete Carroll era at USC the Trojans have been blessed with a pair of terrific long snappers in Joe Boskovich and Will Collins but Collins enters the 2007 season as a senior which means a replacement needs to be found. One possibility could be Owen, who performed well at the USC lineman camp last year and impressed the Trojan coaches enough to keep an eye on him throughout the season.

Sam Anno, the USC graduate assistant coach in charge of special teams, eventually contacted Chris Rubio, who serves as the long snapping coach for the Chris Sailer Kicking Camps, and said that the Trojans were interested in bringing Nolan in as a preferred walk-on. Nolan, who was one of only 11 snappers to earn a 5.0 ranking at the Sailer camps, said it didn't take long for him to make up his mind once he heard the news.

"I've always been a Trojan fan, it's my dream," he said. "I called Coach Anno earlier this week, on Tuesday, and he explained to me everything that the preferred walk-on status entailed. Basically it means that I'm guaranteed a spot on the team and don't have to go through a walk-on try out. I called him back on Wednesday and committed. I've just been an SC fan for a long time now. It's been a family thing growing up."

There is another family connection to the Trojans as well. Nolan's sister, Amy, is the longtime girlfriend of former Trojan punter Tom Malone, who is playing this year for NFL Europe while under contract with the New England Patriots. In fact, it was Malone who encouraged Nolan to give long snapping a try.

"Tom and I actually went to the same high school but he was gone by the time I got there and I only got to know him through my sister. He would come back through the years to the school and I got to know him better and got the chance to work out with him a lot. He's the main reason why I started long snapping, the first day I tried it was in my sophomore year when I was with him and his trainer in Arizona. Little did I know that it would eventually lead to me becoming a Trojan."

Owen, who also considered Fresno State, Rutgers and Cal as possible college choices, will look to major in communications at USC with the goal of someday becoming a sports broadcaster. He also started at OT for Temescal Canyon and is a former ice hockey player (he gave it up to focus on football). Says his strengths as a long snapper are "my speed, my times are all in good range. My blocking is good too."


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