The latest member of the Terps football team's Class of 2014 doesn't have any readily available stats no touchdowns, no sacks  because there aren't any mainstream metrics by which you can measure a long-snapper.

Greenway's (Phoenix, Ariz.) Nate Adams announced his commitment to Maryland on Thursday, and it's an unusual one, for this reason: Long-snappers typically are walk-ons, not scholarship players.

That doesn't mean they're unworthy.

"Good luck trying to win a game without a long-snapper," long-snapping instructor Chris Rubio said. "Have you ever seen a kick without a snap?"

A two-star prospect who also had an offer from Air Force, Adams is rated the fourth-best long-snapper in the nation, according to Rubio. And special teams, every coach will tell you, are important. Why else would Rubio's top-rated long-snapper be Oregon-bound?

Maryland didn't offer Adams until Sunday, Rubio said, but he did not wait long to take up what the Terps were offering, and what Rubio said he expects Adams to seize: early playing time.

College coaches "know I see the most kids," said Rubio, who hosts camps nationwide. "If I'm seeing [400] or 500 kids, and Nate's one of the top 10 kids, then he's pretty damn good. And they know that."

Adams, Rubio said, "is like a machine out there." His snaps lack the top-end velocity of his top-ranked prospect, but his "speed of balls, accuracy of balls, consistency of balls, athleticism and size, [ball] spiral" all stand out, said Rubio. So does his work ethic.

"He's always asking, 'What else do I need to get better? How can I do that?'" Rubio recalled. After instruction, very rarely did he not get better or not do that.

"I'd be very surprised," Rubio said, "if he didn't start" as a true freshman.

This might be the first (and last?) time a long-snapper's highlight reel is featured in this space, so enjoy these precious few minutes.

jshaffer@baltsun.com

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