The Notre Dame Fighting Irish weren’t shut out of the college football awards as some of you may have thought. OH NO! It was announced on Saturday that senior long snapper John Shannon won the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award.
The Patrick Mannelly Award would like to congratulate John Shannon of Notre Dame as the first winner of this prestigious award for top FBS Senior Long Snapper!#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/GrWLpvUq6R— The Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award (@MannellyAward) December 15, 2019
The Patrick Mannelly Award is presented to the overall best Long Snapper at the Division I FBS level. The winner must be of senior standing, have started 75% of games in his senior year, snap on punts and placements, and demonstrate a strong mentality, notable athleticism, as well as speed, accuracy and consistency in their snaps.
John Shannon was widely considered to be the nations’s best long snapper recruit back in 2016. After a freshman redshirt year, Shannon became the starting long snapper for the Irish in 2017 and has started every game since then.
On the same day as this award was given, Brian Kelly announced that John Shannon would not return for a fifth year in South Bend, and would begin a law enforcement career in Evanston, Illinois.
Shannon had an incredible career with the Irish, but in the last game of his senior year against the Stanford Cardinal — he shined. All season long, John had hustled down down field on punt coverage. The senior from Lake Forest, Illinois had 3 tackles on the year and got himself a fumble recovery on the crap turf in Palo Alto. It was a performance that earned him (a long snapper) the game ball for the day.
JOHN. SHANNON.— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 15, 2019
Our Stanford game ball recipient is the inaugural winner of the @MannellyAward, honoring the top FBS long snapper.#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/OrTvH0ShNs
Shannon started from a list of 32 players on the watch list, and eventually he and two others were chosen as finalists. The two players that John beat out were Liam McCullough (Ohio State Buckeyes) and Steven Wirtel (Iowa St. Cyclones). He’s already sticking it to those combine drivers in Ames BAYBEEE! What a guy!
Long snapping is serious business, and the Irish consistently recruit the top long snappers in the nation. In 2020, Notre Dame will have 5 Star KOHLS long snapper Alex Peitsch from Washington D.C. join the roster, and he will have to carry on the legacy of guys like John Shannon, Scot Daly, and J.J. Jansen.
Here’s one of the greatest things ever said about long snappers via the Patrick Mannelly Award website:
The spirit of the Long Snapper lives, not just on the football field, but out in the real world as well. The nurse who hands the right instrument to the surgeon is a Long Snapper. The legal professional who works late into the night doing the research that uncovers the precedent that wins the case is a Long Snapper. Anyone who toils in quiet dedication to the greater good is a Long Snapper. No matter what you do, when you do it with excellence in the face of great pressure, you are a Long Snapper.
I love it.
Congratulations to John on winning this award, and for keeping the legacy of great long snappers alive and well in South Bend!