Draft Prospect Interview: Jeremy Cain

Two private workouts, with Cleveland and Indianapolis, and several "hellos" have already transpired. One Chargers scout has expressed interest to us. For a long snapper that can play linebacker, Jeremy Cain is well on his way to an NFL career. So what if he didn't attend the NFL combines.

"I have talked to different people around," Cain began. "30-40% of the kids who didn't go to the draft got drafted last year. That was warming to me.

"I went to Miami (at the end of February/early March)."

In Miami, Jeremy Cain was able to setup his future with a private workout with Indianapolis. He had already worked out for the Browns and Coach Butch Davis in Miami.

"It went well," Cain said of his workout with Cleveland. "I did some long snapping and did some positional drills. I met with all the coaches and did some interview tests. It went well."

Based on his engaging personality, Cain likely had as many questions for them as they did for him.

Cain played inside linebacker his sophomore year before moving outside for his last two seasons. Playing in a conventional 3-4 defense, Cain has experience playing both outside spots.

The experience is one thing, but he knows he still has a ways to go.

"There are some things I need to work on," Cain said. "I would have to say getting to the pass rusher. You have seen offensive tackles in college and they are bigger and stronger in the NFL. Getting off the blocks and getting to the quarterback."

Based on his stats over the past two seasons, you wouldn't think there is much this second team All-American has to do to get better.

He led the 2002 Minutemen with 18 tackles for loss, 133 tackles and was second on the team with seven sacks. He also had two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three passes defensed, and a blocked field goal.

For an encore in 2003, Cain had 107 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles, two recoveries, blocked a kick and was the sole member of the team to record a safety.

Cain is proudest of his work on special teams and it is where he netted the safety.

"It was on a punt and it looked like the guy in front of me was falling asleep," Cain chuckled in retrospect.

You see, besides being a standout linebacker, Cain is also the long snapper. It is a job he held for all four of his playing years at UMass.

And it is a job that he relishes. Long snappers get a bad rap for their miscues and their names are never mentioned when they do their job. And offensive linemen thought they had a thankless job.

Cain knows all about the lack of recognition, but he takes it in stride.

"It goes so far to the team. It could be a big mistake if I mess up. No one knows about it unless I do something bad."

It is an added bonus that isn't found often in the college ranks, or the NFL for that matter. Long snappers usually are relegated to being one trick ponies. But the versatility Cain has could prove to be the edge in his pursuit of the dream.

"I sure hope so. Anything that can help get me into the league."

The one thing that may be an obstacle to overcome is his weight. At 234 pounds, Cain is a great fit as a linebacker. But long snappers generally weigh 250 pounds plus. It is something Cain has considered.

"You are absolutely right," Cain said. "If (long snapping) is what a team wants me to do primarily, then I will concentrate on gaining more weight if they need me there. If they want me at this weight, I will stay at this weight."

Right now, Cain is preparing for a double life. He is working out to keep his speed for his Pro Days and private workouts and will do what it takes once he is in an NFL camp, whether that is as a linebacker, long snapper or both.

"Once this is over I will concentrate on getting ready for football," Cain added.

Don't be fooled, Cain is ready to play right now. Whether it is linebacker or long snapper, Cain is ready to prove his worth and only one NFL team will call themselves lucky.

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