Boys’ Latin's Brock Sassler was recently ranked the No. 1 junior long snapper in the Mid-Atlantic by Kohl’s Kicking, the top evaluation program in the nation for high school kickers, punters and snappers.
Sassler earned the ranking at the 2016 National Underclassman Challenge, an invitation-only camp Jan. 2-3 in Orlando, Fla. He was also rated No. 19 in the nation among junior long snappers.
“I improved my overall snap time of 15 yards to .67 seconds,” Sassler said. “It was .71, so this is an all-time high for me. After that camp, I got home and I got ranked to 19th.”
Sassler became serious about snapping his sophomore year at Boys’ Latin. He saw it as a great opportunity and one that could lead to playing football in college.
“It’s cool to be the leader of special teams,” he said. “It’s cool to have that opportunity to make that big play even if it’s just on special teams, because it’s a huge part of the game and no one really sees it.”
When he started as a snapper, Sassler quickly saw the potential.
A Parkton resident, he grew up playing in the Hereford rec program where he met Dom Maggio, rated the No. 1 senior punter in the nation last season by Kohl’s Kicking. When Sassler was 10, he snapped the ball before Maggio kicked a game-winning 32-yard field goal. The two continued their connection, both punting and kicking, at Boys’ Latin.
Lakers coach Ritchie Schell said Sassler is always working to get better.
“It’s technique and it’s practice,” Schell said. “He’s a hard worker, but he’s only 6-foot, 207, but he’s strong. He’s great for high school football, but I think he wanted to play at a higher level, but he knows he can’t do that with his size. He plays defensive end for us, but he loves long snapping. He and his father developed it and he practices diligently. I mean the kid works as hard as anybody I know to get quicker, to get faster for football. He goes to a lot of these camps and you have to because you’ve got to get ranked.”
It’s rare for a long snapper to receive a college scholarship offer – most walk on – but Sassler has started to draw considerable interest from college coaches.
He hopes to drum up more by going to kicking camps about every other weekend this summer. Two of the schools he’s most interested in are Maryland and Bowling Green, his father Mark’s alma mater.
In the meantime, he keeps working to improve his accuracy as well as his mental focus.
“It’s all mentality,” he said. “You can’t let a mistake get to your head. You can’t let your emotions take control. You have to go out there and practice every day or it’s not going to come naturally.”
Sassler has the same kind of target at home that evaluators use at camps to measure accuracy.
“It’s a net and you have to get it all the way through the hole to get points,” he said. “It’s all one motion. You have to be fluid with it. If you break it down, it’s four or five steps you have to do to get the perfect ball.”
One of Sassler’s immediate goals is to earn a spot on the Baltimore Touchdown Club’s Super 22 Team, which includes the top 56 high school juniors. He is among about 120 players who will attend the Super 22 Combine on Feb. 28. From there, the final 56 will be selected and presented on May 17 at the annual banquet.
“They didn’t take a long snapper last year,” Sassler said, “but since they invited one this year, hopefully, they’ll take one.”