Say this for Nathan Theus’ first two games this year as Georgia’s long snapper: they certainly have been eventful.
Theus had a high snap on a field goal try that never got off against Clemson and a punt snap was dropped by Collin Barber against South Carolina, giving the Gamecocks the ball at the Georgia 18.
“Being a specialist is just like being a quarterback,” Theus said. “You’ve got to do your job and you’re going to mess up here and there and you’ve got to learn to turn the page and move forward and focus on the next snap. If you let it affect you too much then all of your snaps are going to be bad. You end up costing the bigger picture.”
Barber may have looked like he simply dropped a routine snap, but Theus said it was “a little high.”
“I gave him something that he wasn’t used to,” said the redshirt sophomore, the older brother of Georgia offensive lineman John Theus said. “Usually I try to hit the hip to the chest and that was at his face mask. Looking back if I would have known, I would have liked to lower it a little bit. Him, too, looking back he would have wanted to catch it. … We’re definitely a specialist unit, and we all stick together.”
Assistant John Lilly, who oversees the unit, remained upbeat.
“If you look, our next snap and kick was great,” Theus said. “Our time to get off was good and Barber hit the heck out of the ball. It was a great fair catch.”
Theus had five scholarship offers out of high school in Jacksonville, Fla., including South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida State. His brother, Jeremiah, a junior in high school, is also a long snapper.
“He’s learned everything I’ve learned,” Theus said. “The stuff I’ve learned in college, he’s learned in high school. We pass it down.”