PI = PatriotsInsider.com
PI Note: “Within 10 days of losing Paxton, New England signed former Arizona Cardinal veteran long snapper Nathan Hodel. Over the past seven years Hodel’s career has benefited by being paired with one of the league’s most accurate kickers, 2006 Pro Bowler Neil Rackers. Just over a month following the acquisition of Hodel, Jake Ingram was chosen in the sixth round of the 2009 Draft (198th overall), by New England and was the only long snapper drafted.
Jake Ingram never dreamed about being the next best long snapper in the NFL. The Hawaiian native began his football career as a 6’3, 232 lb. defensive lineman for the University of Hawaii and he loved every minute of it. But former Hawaii head coach June Jones had other plans for the reserve defenseman. Jones wanted Ingram to change positions to one that took Ingram by surprise. Coach Jones proposed that if Ingram agreed to play long snapper instead of defense end, he would receive a full scholarship to the university.”
Soon enough, Ingram’s abilities to snap the ball rapidly and deliver it to the perfect spot were to difficult to ignore by his teammates, pro scouts and even Ingram himself. Former Hawaii Special Teams coach, now defensive coordinator at Yale University, Ikaika Malloe explained.
About the importance of Jake Ingram’s long snapping ability, Ikaika Malloe (former UH special teams coach and now defensive coordinator at Yale) said:
“The long snapper position is one of the most important positions on the punt team. His [Ingram] snap is quick enough that it makes for a quicker punt. He also has great accuracy…which allows the punter to be in a smooth rhythm.” (PI)
About his work ethic, Ingram said:
“I’ve worked construction, and that’s hard work, and I think that work ethic just kind of carried over onto the football field. I feel like when something goes wrong with a snap, I’m letting my whole team down.” (PI)
About his high expectations for Ingram in the NFL, Malloe said:
“I truly believe he will be one of the best snappers in the NFL if he continues to get better. Jake Ingram, I believe, will set the bar for what a long snapper should have in terms of tools for the NFL. I wish him luck in his career in New England.” (PI)