Crappell participates in LSU pro day
From Staff Reports
While quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck got most of the NFL’s attention at pro days this week, former Patterson and LSU alum Joey Crappell quietly put himself on a few team’s draft boards.
Crappell worked out for several NFL special teams’ coaches Thursday in Baton Rouge. While at LSU, the former special teams’ captain successfully completed every snap on both punts and placekicks.
“It went pretty good today,” Crappell said after having dinner with New Orleans Saints special team’s coordinator Greg McMahon. “All of my snaps were on target and my snap times were good.”
NFL officials time each snap to see how long a snapper takes to get the ball to punters and kickers.
While Crappell was excited to show his skill set to potential NFL employers, he also was very nervous.
“I’ve been playing football since I was 6 years old so it was very nerve-racking to think this may be my last time playing the sport I love,” he said. “But, I think I will get a couple looks.”
Crappell’s father, Joe, taught his son to snap, so his Pop Warner team would get two points as opposed to one point for running in extra points.
“He didn’t know much about it, but he knew just enough to get me where I am now,” Joey Crappell said.
Crappell credits both his mom and dad for his success in snapping. His father helped him improve his technique as the years progressed, challenging him day after day in the family’s backyard. If there was a day his dad had to work, his mom would get out in the yard, watch his drills and offer corrections.
Now, the one-time walk-on at LSU may fulfill his childhood dream of playing pro football.
Crappell also has planned for his future if it doesn’t include the NFL.
He and former LSU punter Derek Helton have formed SP Elite Camps, a snapping, punting and kicking camp for young players.
“We know this specialty really well,” Crappell said. “And if I can’t play the game, then I would love to teach it. It’s a part of the game that gets overlooked until someone makes a mistake. It’s also a good way for kids who aren’t big enough or fast enough to play other positions to still play the game.”
Crappell also will host a “Stars of Tomorrow” youth football camp, a free instructional clinic for students in first through 12th grades on Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City.
The event will feature ex-LSU players giving instruction on snapping, kicking and punting. An ex-collegiate quarterback and local high school coaches also will be on hand to offer instruction.
“This is just a way for me to give back to the community which has supported me for so long,” Crappell said. “I also want to stress the importance of education and staying out of trouble to the local kids.”
The camp will be broken into two sessions, with those in first through seventh grades gathering from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
Morning campers will learn basic football fundamentals, including instructions on proper kicking, punting, snapping and throwing.
In the afternoon session, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., students in eighth through 12th grades will receive more technical instruction on the same aspects as the younger participants.
Campers also will learn drills and techniques aimed at improvement and consistency.
Al Tregle, a Louisiana High School Coaches Hall of Famer and former longtime St. Mary Parish coach, also will speak at each session.
Participants can bring their completed registration forms, found in the Sports section of The Daily Review on Thursday and today, to the camp or they can fill them out onsite, as long as they have a parent or guardian to sign off for their participation.
Onsite registration will be held Saturday at 8 a.m. for those in first through seventh grades, while registration for those participating in the afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m.
The first 100 participants to sign up will receive a T-shirt, sponsored by A&E Office Machines.
Campers should wear shoes and clothing suitable for running, kicking, punting, snapping and throwing.
All campers should bring a football that he/she can kick, punt, snap and throw relevant to their age and size.
Crappell was on the LSU roster from 2007-12, while Helton was an LSU punter from 2009-11.
Helton joined the Tigers after transferring from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
For his career, he averaged 42.5 yards per punt, third best in school history. His career long was an 82-yarder against the University of Arkansas during the 2010 season.
Joe Crappell said Saturday’s camp is something that his son and Helton have planned to hold both in Morgan City and in Helton’s hometown in Kansas.