Being one of the best long snappers in the country runs in the Ferguson family blood

Long snapping has proven to be the pride of the Ferguson family.

Blake Ferguson is now entering his senior season as an LSU long snapper—and he’s recognized as one of the best in the country.

The long snapper is a specialist responsible for snapping the football over long distances on field goals, extra points after touchdowns and punts. It’s an unsung but essential position. Do your job right, and it’s expected. But one bad snap will take a long snapper from anonymous to infamous.

A good long snapper offers consistency, accuracy, speed and a host of other skills. Watch Blake in action, and it’s clear he has those skills in spades.

He takes after his older brother, Reid Ferguson, who now plays for the Buffalo Bills. But before his NFL career, Reid held the position at LSU for four years himself, graduating the spring before his little brother’s freshman year.

“Reid started snapping, I guess, when he was in ninth grade,” Blake tells 225. “Then I started snapping a couple years later because I saw how successful he was.”

LSU senior long snapper Blake Ferguson is recognized as one of the United States’ top college players in his role—just like his older brother, Reid, when he played at LSU. Photo by MG Miller / Courtesy LSU Athletics.

Blake began in seventh grade, and, just like his big brother, he found it to be his true calling. He snapped throughout high school.

“And I just fell in love with LSU when I was coming down to see Reid,” he says.

Originally from Georgia, Blake was enamored with LSU: the games, the atmosphere, the food, and the people of Baton Rouge. When it came time for recruiting visits, he’d compare every place to it.

“I knew I’d probably need to end up at LSU, because if I’m comparing everything back to it, that’s where I need to be,” he recalls.

The brothers’ incredibly committed parents have managed to make it to every game for their long snapping boys since Reid left LSU.

Once, they had to leave Blake’s game in Starkville, Mississippi, early to drive to Atlanta so they could board a 6 a.m. flight to Buffalo for one of Reid’s games.

Blake looked up in the stands and saw them leaving.

Reid is always watching. LSU alums are so proud of our football team, and they love to stay in contact. And having him as a brother, it even amplifies it.

[Blake Ferguson]

Seeing them leave, he says, was the saddest moment of his collegiate career.

“It’s been so awesome to have them at the games,” he says. “They work their tails off throughout the year to be able to have the resources to fly and go to the different games and be there for both of us, because it does mean the world to us.”

Next year though, Blake hopes that he and Reid will both be playing on Sundays.

Through high school and college, his brother’s mentorship has been invaluable. Now, as Ferguson nears graduation and eyes the NFL, he’s learning more.

Reid coaches him into the NFL mindset, telling his brother, “The ultimate goal is to play on Sundays. What are you doing now to set yourself up to play on Sundays down the road?”

The brothers are close, talking to each other daily. Blake considers Reid to be his favorite athlete. As a younger sibling, Blake gets to see the challenges Reid faces first—and hopefully avoid them.

And as an older brother, Reid gets to constructively critique Blake’s game.

“Whenever I get back into the locker room, on my phone I have ‘Snap number one: This is what you did wrong; this is what you did good.’ ‘Snap two: Perfect snap,’” he says. “He’s always watching. LSU alums are so proud of our football team, and they love to stay in contact. And having him as a brother, it even amplifies it.”

Blake snaps the ball during LSU’s game versus Southeastern last September. Photo by Skylar Fontaine / Courtesy LSU Athletics.

Blake and his brother are from Buford, a small suburb of Atlanta, and went to Buford High School. As it turns out, the talent for long snapping doesn’t just run in the Ferguson family. It runs in the Buford community.

Long snapper Quentin Skinner is another Buford High graduate, and he will play at, yes, LSU this fall. Blake can now mentor Skinner, showing him the ropes and answering any questions he might have. The two will be rooming together this fall.

“That’ll be cool to have that bonding time,” Blake says. “I’ve known him since he was in fourth grade. We’ll get to share that together, and then next year he’ll be ready to take over after I leave.”

Reid blazed a trail, Blake says, and then he followed in his footsteps. Soon, it will be Skinner’s turn.

And now, Blake says there’s even another young snapper at the high school who wants to follow in Skinner’s footsteps.

There must be something in that Buford water.

This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.

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