There are some positions in football for which it is better that their name rarely, if ever be called. Cover corner is likely the most popular of these spots. It's often said, you know your corners did a good job if "you didn't hear their name called all day." There are others, though.
Recruitniks often frown upon specialists receiving scholarship. They bemoan any more than one kicker every two years. They begrudge any sort of punter. They grumble at the thought of a run-blocking tight end. They hate, hate, hate, a long snapper. "WHY DID WE WASTE A SCHOLARSHIP ON THIS GUY!?!" they cry in February. Yet, in September, had we passed on that guy, they'd bitch endlessly at one botched snap. A hard bunch to please.
Thus we have Reid Ferguson. Without a doubt, the least popular LSU recruit from the 2012 signing class. Yet, could he be amongst the most important?
After the jump, I cast my vote for Reid Ferguson for class president.
Reid Ferguson committed last June. Many thought it may be an effort to win the appreciation of Vadal Alexander, who later committed in October. Over time, we learned that LSU likely didn't need that connection; Alexander was coming to LSU one way or another. Thus the picture became clear: LSU coveted Reid Ferguson, not for his connection to another great recruit, but because of what he brought to the table.
The addition was not sexy. We didn't get to watch him in an Under Armour or U.S. All-American game. We didn't get an endless list of recruiting articles about this school and that attempting to sway him away. We didn't get a highlight reel that screamed future NFL talent. We didn't get the big-titted blonde at the bar whose working knowledge of the film industry is anything mainstream that stars Matthew McConaughey and everything else. No, we go the practical brunette with the average rack and practical functionality we hope for in a long-term spouse. We got a long snapper.
The analogy works well for Reid. It's much more fun to go home and tell your bros you bagged the hottie at the bar they all gushed about the night before. It's more fun to recount sleeping with the goddess in high heels. Who cares if that chick means nothing tomorrow, a month from now, much less four years later. Damn the future for a couple of great hours (that you probably can't even remember that well through a haze of Bourbon and Abita).
Instead, you went home with the smart girl, the interesting girl. You put on a Kurosawa, and afterward discussed the human obsession with violence represented throughout his body of work. Maybe she slept over, but on the couch, as you covered her in your favorite LSU fleece. You bought her breakfast the next morning, dated for the next six years and then got married and birthed and next great LSU quarterback (or long snapper). Your bros don't find this story nearly as interesting. Falling in love isn't good bar talk.
So, what was I saying? Oh yeah, Reid Ferguson isn't a cheap lay. No, no, no. The way to sleep with Reid Ferguson is a good Kurosawa. That's not it either. Oh, I remember!
Reid isn't the type of commit or player that gets you excited. In fact, the way you most realize he's been successful: no one talks about him. In February, it's not fun to sign a long snapper. But in October, when your punter and your kicker are crushing the ball with deadly accuracy, never experiencing a disruption of timing, you will be thankful. But we won't thank Reid Ferguson for snapping the ball perfectly so that Brad Wing could boom yet another drive killer. We won't thank Reid Ferguson for spinning a pigskin delicately into the hands of Wing, who then places it cleanly for Drew Alleman to boot through the uprights for three points. No, we'll never thank Reid Ferguson. We'll never look back and remember that he was a "5-star bust" or a "3-star sleeper." We won't remember or think about him at all... unless he messes up.
Thus, you have the most important recruit in the 2012 LSU Signing Class. Others will go on to more acclaimed careers. Plenty will make a more significant impact in terms of minutes played and monumental plays affected. Ferguson won't be on your stat sheet. His name won't show up on the box score. Yet, if Reid Ferguson isn't prepared to do his job, LSU could very well miss out on a National Championship opportunity. The nature of his job is that important. Imagine last season, buried deep in Tuscaloosa, the snap sails on Wing rather than sinking beautifully into his palms, allowing him to boom punt after punt into safety.
Unfortunately that snapper isn't here anymore. The man who takes his place is Reid Ferguson. The most important recruit of the 2012 signing class. Reid Ferguson, the practical brunette who loves Kurosawa. Reid Ferguson, the long snapper.