Just as the calendar turned to July, the first preseason watch list for college football’s 2018 season was released. It was for the least glamourous position on the field, long snapper. A good player at this position is rarely mentioned because that means they make very few mistakes.
For Rutgers, sophomore Billy Taylor made noise in the preseason last year, beating out three-year starter Alan Lucy and backup Matthew Sportelli ahead of the season opener. The fact that Taylor, who played high school football and was a captain at Parsippany Hills, didn’t even join the program until the second week of training camp after mulling Division III opportunities as an offensive lineman, makes it an even more remarkable story.
He was rarely heard from again during the 2017 season, which was a good thing, as Taylor was a pleasant surprise, starting all 12 games as a true freshman and avoiding any major miscues. He was hailed last season for his consistency and precision in short and long snapping situations. His performance last season earned him a spot on this year’s David Binn Award Preseason Watch List for college football’s best long snapper. The initial list of nominees was accounced on Sunday.
Here it is!— David Binn Award (@DavidBinnAward) July 1, 2018
2018 David Binn Award -Preseason Watch List - Nations Best College Long Snapper
Congratulations for those who made this years first list! pic.twitter.com/gmZRwfEQQA
Taylor was a factor in the special teams unit showing major improvement during the 2017 season. With fellow sophomore Justin Davidovicz likely to win the starting place kicker spot, the classmates should team up on extra point attempts and field goal kicks for the foreseeable future. Taylor will also likely be snapping to incoming freshman Adam Korsak, the Australian punter, for many seasons as well. Overall, Rutgers will need continued improvement from the special teams unit this season and Taylor is certainly a key towards net gains in the kicking game in 2018. Hopefully, his play will be rewarded with little mention on Gameday, but will merit serious consideration to win the David Binn Award at season’s end.