Family Tradition

Many players may say that they eat, drink and breathe football, but West Virginia verbal commitment Chris Snook might be the player that epitomizes that phrase.

" I've been raised in a football family," Snook told BlueGoldNews.com after committing to West Virginia at its spring game on April 19. "My dad, Tim, has been a football coach for18 years, and he's one of my coaches now at Highland. My brother Adam played at Highland, and he just got hired as a coach at Medina High School.

"It's pretty much football all the time with me, and I've learned a lot from my dad and my brother. It's just me and my dad at my house now, and there's not really a difference between home and being on the field. Everything revolves around football with us."

The one place where differences come into play is with the aspects of the game that Chris discusses with his father and brother.

"When I talk to my brother, it's more about playing with attitude, and the emotion of the game. He coached me in the seventh and eight grade, and he taught me about that side of the game. With my dad, it's more about the Xs and Os. It's definitely been a good thing for us as a family."

Snook, whose laid-back style hides a core of intensity that comes out on the field, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother. His post college plans include landing a graduate assistant spot and moving into coaching at the college level, which he describes as his "dream job."

Before all that, of course, comes his senior high school season and college career. Always reluctant to talk about himself, Snook did detail his reasons for committing before his senior season.

"We have a really good team coming back this year, and I didn't want recruiting to be a distraction. I had that feeling when I came down to West Virginia for junior day that this was the school for me, but I didn't want to make any crazy decisions. So, I waited until the spring game, but I knew I was going to commit there. I was talking to several of the players on the team, and I told them I don't know what "it" is, but WVU has it.

"This could be one of the better teams Highland has had, and I wanted to eliminate any distractions. We went 6-4 last year and lost in overtime to the second-ranked team in the state in our classification, and that kept us out of the playoffs. We have 15 starters back, and all of our skill positions, so we think we can make a run in the playoffs. A lot of us have had success in the younger grades, and we have all come up together, so there's a bond there."

Snook admitted that the recruiting process was beginning to get a bit crazy, and noted that he is looking forward to get back to the basics of playing football. He expects most of the hype to die down by the time his minicamps and summer camps roll around, and wants to make sure that he is primed to help his team to the fullest during his senior season. It's likely just that attitude that attracted WVU offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen to Snook, who he began recruiting at Wake Forest before moving on to West Virginia in January. Snook, as noted, isn't big on promoting himself, and he values team play and reaching team goals above all.

"I don't feel like I need to talk myself up to the media or promote myself," said Snook, whose low-key personality is consistent no matter the surroundings. "I'm loud on game day, and I learned how to turn that switch on from my brother, but I just don't feel the need to be that way. But I am really excited about committing to West Virginia."

Snook's day, which he described as "one of the happiest of my life", began in the WVU coaches' offices.

"I got there around 10 and met with Coach Mullen. He had me go in his office and go over some offensive stuff, and we looked at some of the ways I might be used in the offense. Then we went in to Coach Stewart's office, and I made my commitment. The rest of the day was just crazy. I met Tahj Boyd and Logan Heastie and their families, and talked with Branko Busick, who committed too. I had an idea that Branko would commit. He's a great player, and I have seen him play. We were all really excited about meeting up, and we said we'll do what we can to help get more guys on board. I just really felt at home."

NOTE

Snook will begin his career on offense, where he will man the fullback/tight end role that's part of the Mullen system. His excellent feet and good balance should make him a good fit for that position. At Highland, which runs elements of the spread offense, Snook plays tailback, but could move out to play in the slot at times this year. That would also give him experience in another feature of WVU's offense, which will move the tight end/fullback around on the field to create mismatches.


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