February 22, 2013
Freshman long snapper benefitting from early enrollment
The only Tulane freshman enrolled in spring drills is a long snapper. It would be a mistake to discount the significance of that addition, however.
Most early enrollees only think they are going to start in their first year. Mike Lizanich knows he will start for the Green Wave next fall.
Every repetition he is getting in the spring with punter/holder Peter Picerelli and Lou Groza Award-winning kicker Cairo Santos will prove invaluable when he snaps in games next September.
"It is helping him quite a bit," Tulane special teams coach Barry Lamb said. "Michael's got a lot of confidence in himself and he should, but the college game is different. He's doing a great job learning what he needs to learn, and I expect a very confident long snapper to step on to the field when we open the season."
Tulane lost games with its special teams throughout the Bob Toledo era, but that changed dramatically last year under the guidance of Lamb. The Wave brought in graduate student Billy Johnson, a transfer from Georgia, as a long snapper, and his perfect snaps helped Santos have a perfect season on field goals.
Exit Johnson. Enter Lizanich, a product of Scottsdale, Ariz. whom ESPN.com rated the No. 2 deep snapper the nation. He has been groomed for this role since he was 13, when he began working with Ben Bernard, the most successful long snapping coach in the country, and later with Gary Zauner, a special teams coordinator in the NFL from 1994-2006 who runs a kicking camp in Phoenix.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial