UA long snapper carries on family football legacy

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You probably haven't heard much about Nick Reinhardt, and that's probably a good thing.

The long snapper for the Wildcats, a position that along with the kicker, can go from almost famous, to infamous in a snap.

“I’m kind of there for him, you know what I mean,” Reinhardt says of his relationship with the place kicker.  “I'm perfect, so he can be perfect.”

“He takes a lot of pride in being more than just a snapper,” says Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez.  “He wants to be able to cover kicks, and he's kind of the leader of that specialist group.”

Reinhardt's father played football for Nebraska in the 80's. He too, a walk on like his son.

Reinhardt earned a scholarship after red-shirting his freshman season.  He also has three uncles that played college football...2 for Colorado, and one at Oregon.

“I think I was in probably 1st grade when I really understood what was going on, and what actually happened.” Says Reinhardt.

His uncle, Ed Reinhardt, was a standout tight end for the Colorado Buffaloes back in the 80's. In a game against Oregon, Reinhardt suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for 62 days.

“It really puts life into perspective, that football really is just a game, says Nick. “It could change like that at any moment."

Reinhardt says it's a miracle his uncle survived, and it never discouraged him from getting out on the football field.  The two are in frequent contact with each other, talking football and life in general.

“I just wanted to live through my uncle, and finish out what he did,” says Reinhardt.  “Knowing my uncle Ed, he'd love to play just one more down.  It puts into perspective how lucky I am to be here.”

Reinhardt has two more years of eligibility left at Arizona. After that, he hopes to continue his football career, in the NFL. His goal is to be one of two long snappers at the combine.

But for now, he's focused on Wildcat fans not hearing his name during game broadcasts.

“Yea I’m ready. I can't wait.”


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