breaking news

Honda to build CR-V at Marysville plant

Wittenberg’s Snodgrass cherishes return to football

Springfield grad scores two touchdowns in opener


Highlights

Snodgrass started his career at University of Kentucky but decided to transfer two years ago.

Thaddeus Snodgrass sprinted under a deep pass from Jake Kennedy on Monday in practice, caught it in stride and raced toward the end zone, showing the talent that made him a four-star recruit in 2013.

This play didn’t count, but the Springfield High School graduate Snodgrass made two big plays Saturday for the Wittenberg in the season opener when it did count — and they were moments he had long awaited. They were his first scores since his senior season with the Wildcats in 2013.

“It was a blessing to be back,” Snodgrass said. “I’ve been out for a long time. I’m just glad I got the opportunity to play for the home team and get a win.”

GAME STORY: Wittenberg holds off Westminster

Snodgrass caught four passes for 117 yards in a 20-14 victory at Westminster College. He grabbed a 10-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and then a 59-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

“Thad is obviously a very talented football player,” Fincham said. “He’s been hurt. He practiced some (last week) week, but in previous weeks in camp, he was out with a groin. The little bit we’ve seen of him, we knew he was a talented guy. He’s bright, too. He learned the offense. I had no idea how many snaps we’d get out of him (Saturday).”

Snodgrass, who had six touchdown receptions as a senior at Springfield, was one of the top recruits in Ohio in the class of 2014, earning a four-star rating from 247Sports.com. He picked the University of Kentucky over Ohio State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and others.

After redshirting as a freshman in 2014, Snodgrass earned limited playing time in 2015, appearing in games against Eastern Kentucky, South Carolina and Missouri but not making a catch. He left the program that October and tried to find a new home. He planned to transfer to Lackawanna College, a junior college, but said the “money situation” didn’t work out.

Then Snodgrass decided to transfer to Akron. That didn’t work out, he said. Last fall, he was out of school, working at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Huber Heights.

“I had those times where I was down,” Snodgrass said. “I didn’t know if I was going to play again. I got tired of sitting around. I need to be playing football.”

Snodgrass called a former high school teacher, Michael Cooper, who is the fifth-leading receiver in Wittenberg history (162 receptions) and also a Wittenberg wide receivers coach. Snodgrass was a sophomore in high school when Cooper was a senior at Wittenberg in 2011 but knew all about his exploits with the Tigers.

“I’m really close with coach Cooper,” Snodgrass said. “I just him up one day and said, ‘Hey, you think you’ve got room for me on the roster.’ The next day coach Fincham called me with the opportunity.”

SEASON PREVIEW: First look at depth chart

Snodgrass enrolled at Wittenberg in the spring and spent all summer working with his new teammates to get back in game shape.

“I was in pretty good shape,” Snodgrass said, “but you can’t really simulate games until you’re playing.”

The speed of the game at the Division III level may not match what Snodgrass saw in the Southeastern Conference, but in other ways, it’s just as competitive.

“They play really hard here,” Snodgrass said. “That’s what I was surprised by: how hard they work and how hard they coach the team.”

TOP SEVEN: Ranking best players in Witt history

Snodgrass joins a growing list of local graduates who have returned to the game with Wittenberg after a spell away.

Jon Daniels, who is back with the program this season as an assistant coach, played one season at Wittenberg in 2004 before leaving school to enlist in the National Guard. He returned to Wittenberg in 2010 and earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior in 2012.

Tecumseh graduate Dustin Holmes was the North Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season as a senior. He started his career at Wittenberg in 2010, left school and returned in 2014.

Jeff Tiffner graduated from Kenton Ridge in 2011 and enrolled at Wittenberg in 2015. He’s in his second season and caught four passes for 25 yards in the opener.

Snodgrass has one season of eligibility remaining after this season. He plans to make the most of his time.

“You cherish it that much more,” Snodgrass said. “You know what it’s like to be without football. You don’t want to go back to that until you actually graduate and your time is up.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

High School Wrestling: Area weekly honor roll
High School Wrestling: Area weekly honor roll

Wrestling Honor Roll Name School W L Falls 106 Pounds Cole Skinner Madison 6 0 Branson Amway Graham 14 1 5 Kellan Anderson Covington 22 2 6 Josh Miller Edgewood 18 2 5 Trace Braun Graham 15 4 7 Caleb Thomas Monroe 18 5 Olivia Shore Miami East 18 6 8 Matt Motter Butler 13 4 7 Jorden Zigo Trotwood 13 4 6 »RELATED: High School state dual tournament...
Jonathan Alder tops Kenton Ridge, stays atop CBC Kenton Trail
Jonathan Alder tops Kenton Ridge, stays atop CBC Kenton Trail

Jonathan Alder has emphatically announced its presence in the Central Buckeye Conference. The school from Plain City made its first statement with an 8-2 football season, a 3-1 second-place finish behind Bellefontaine in the Kenton Trail Division and a playoff berth. »RELATED: Springfield tops Fairmont, moves to 11-0 »RELATED: Friday night...
Kansas freshman PF Billy Preston signs with Bosnian professional team
Kansas freshman PF Billy Preston signs with Bosnian professional team

Billy Preston’s career as a Kansas Jayhawks has reached its end before it ever really got started. On Saturday, the freshman and former McDonald’s All-American signed with Bosnian professional team BC Igokea, according to multiple reports. “We are thrilled to welcome Billy Preston to our Club,” BC Ikogea ...
Tom Izzo talks about Larry Nassar scandal after win over Indiana
Tom Izzo talks about Larry Nassar scandal after win over Indiana

Yes, Michigan State basketball defeated Indiana on Friday night, 85-57. The 28-point victory was a welcoming response to what the Spartans had done in its previous three games. Which, was lose two of them. But some things just mean more than a single game. What is going on around the Michigan State program and the Larry Nassar ...
Nebraska kicker Drew Brown plays for himself, his future and Sam Foltz’s legacy
Nebraska kicker Drew Brown plays for himself, his future and Sam Foltz’s legacy

When Nebraska kicker Drew Brown takes the field at the East-West Shrine Game, he won’t be wearing his usual No. 34. Instead, Brown will wear No. 27 in honor of his friend and teammate Sam Foltz. Foltz — who died in a car accident during the summer of 2016 — was a punter for the Huskers. He was also Brown&rsquo...
More Stories