We live in the age of the superstar. The big gun. The first pick. The franchise player. But the more we come to understand the game of football, the more we learn to revere the guy who sets every field goal, extra point and punt in motion – including nail-biting field goals that make or break games, seasons and sometimes even careers. It’s time to show some love for the Long Snapper.

Long Snappers don’t make the cover of the program. They’re rarely asked to sign autographs. You don’t typically see them being interviewed before the game. But Long Snappers aren’t driven by these things. Quiet, selfless, focused and courageous, the Long Snapper is content to trade conventional superstardom for the opportunity to do one job very well. 

The spirit of the Long Snapper lives, not just on the football field, but out in the real world as well. The nurse who hands the right instrument to the surgeon is a Long Snapper. The legal professional who works late into the night doing the research that uncovers the precedent that wins the case is a Long Snapper. Anyone who toils in quiet dedication to the greater good is a Long Snapper. No matter what you do, when you do it with excellence in the face of great pressure, you are a Long Snapper. 

The Patrick Mannelly Award presented by William Blair is a new vehicle through which football’s unsung workhorses can finally bask in the warm glow of appreciation. Now we celebrate the best Long Snappers in college football. And in doing so, we honor the Long Snapper in all of us.


The Patrick Mannelly Award presented by William Blair benefits Bernie’s Book Bank, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing book ownership among at-risk children. Bernie's Book Bank achieves this mission by providing 12 free books annually to empower at-risk children to read their way to a better life. Since 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed more than 15.6 MILLION books to children ages birth through sixth grade; this year alone they will provide 3.6 MILLION books to 360,000 local at-risk children. 

Bernie’s Book Bank is the long snapper of literacy – no child can learn to read without books. The work of Bernie’s Book Bank may be behind the scenes, yet they are an integral player in the literacy equation. For more information about Bernie’s Book Bank, visit berniesbookbank.org.


Patrick Mannelly, widely known as the best Long Snapper in the modern NFL era, was a four-year starter at long snapper and two year starter at offensive line at Duke University before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Mannelly is the Bears career leader in games played at 245, the longest tenured Chicago Bear after playing 16 seasons, and a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.



Kevin Gold, LongSnap.com

Kevin Gold is an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor and creator of the award-winning web site Longsnap.com, dedicated to Long Snapping.  Gold has been featured in the national media for his unique sports representation focus, including the USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and SIRIUS NFL Radio. Mr. Gold has negotiated in excess of 100 NFL player contracts. Gold is a founding partner at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania law firm Pillar+Aught.


Patrick Mannelly, Long Snapper

Patrick Mannelly was considered one of the NFL’s best long-snappers during an illustrious 16-year career that he spent exclusively with the Chicago Bears from 1998-2013. A sixth-round draft pick from Duke, Mannelly set franchise records for most seasons and games played (245). A model of excellence and consistency, he helped the Bears win four division championships and one NFC title. Mannelly played in Super Bowl XLI, was a special-teams captain for 11 seasons and recorded 81 special-teams tackles, the third most in Bears history. At Duke, he was a four-year starting long-snapper and a two-year starting offensive lineman. Mannelly currently serves as a football analyst for 670 The Score and also hosts the Chicago Huddle and Golf 360.


Chris Rubio, Long Snapping

Chris Rubio is a Long Snapping trainer. He works with middle school, high school and college Long Snappers and evaluates them for college football programs.  Rubio’s Long Snapping Camp is the longest-running in the nation. Over the past 14 years, Rubio has helped over 1,000 long snappers play football in college and the NFL. Rubio is also the creator of the Chris Rubio Award given annually to the nation’s best high school Long Snapper. Rubio was a three-year starting Long Snapper at UCLA. Rubio has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the USA Today


The Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award is determined by a committee comprised of former NFL Long Snappers, punters and kickers, special team coaches, as well as snapping instructors, NFL player agents and sportswriters. 


The Award is presented to the overall best Long Snapper at the Division I FBS level. The winner must be of senior standing, have started 75% of games in his senior year, snap on punts and placements, and demonstrate a strong mentality, notable athleticism, as well as speed, accuracy and consistency in their snaps. 

INITIAL watchlist

Zach Wood, Cincinnati

Nick Wildberger, Houston

Michael Piefer, Navy

Geron Eatherly, Tulane

Dayton Diemel, Wake Forest

Ross Matiscik, Baylor

Steven Wirtel, Iowa State

Rex Sunahara, West Virginia

Ryan Armour, Michigan State

Liam McCullough, Ohio State

Jackson Subbert, Iowa

Chase Urbach, Nebraska

Matt Beardall, Marshall

Grant Merka, UTSA

Mitch Harris, BYU

 John Shannon, Notre Dame

 Joey Palumbo, Kent State

 Evan Crabree, Miami of Ohio

Drake Sutton, Eastern Michigan

Richard Mcnitzky, Stanford

AJ Carty, Washington

JT Bale, Colorado

J. Den Bleyker, UCLA

 Riley Lovingood, Tennessee

 Blake Ferguson, LSU

Patrick Phibbs, Clemson

Blake Best, Kentucky

Keegan Firth, Oregon State

Devin King, Ohio

Steven Nixon, Georgia

Matt Oliveira, South Carolina

Anthony Ratliff, East Carolina


AJ Carty, Washington

Geron Eatherly, Tulane

 Blake Ferguson, LSU

Keegan Firth, Oregon State

Liam McCullough, Ohio State

Richard Mcnitzky, Stanford

 John Shannon, Notre Dame

Jackson Subbert, Iowa

Rex Sunahara, West Virginia

Steven Wirtel, Iowa State


Liam McCullough, Ohio State

 John Shannon, Notre Dame

Steven Wirtel, Iowa State


John Shannon, Notre Dame



 Patrick Mannelly, Founder

 Chris Rubio, Founder

 Kevin Gold, Founder

 Lonnie Paxton, Former NFL LS

 Tom Lemming, Recruiting Writer

Wes Huber, Pro Football Focus

  Robbie Gould, NFL Kicker

 Brad Maynard, Former NFL P

  Rob Davis, Former NFL LS

  Justin Snow, Former NFL LS

 Randy Chevrier, Former NFL/CFL LS

Clint Gresham, Former NFL LS

Rick Gosselin, NFL Writer

  Tom Osborne, NCAA ST Coach

 Phil Steele, NCAA Writer

 Dave Wannstedt, Former NFL Head Coach


Pro Football Focus



Announcement/ Trophy Presentation Dinner: 

Saturday, December 14th at Bernie's Book Bank, Lake Bluff, IL

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Patrick Mannelly Award