August 6, 2009

Snapper makes it official

Coach Danny Hope wanted to land a highly touted long snapper in the Class of 2010 and got just that as Jesse Schmitt verbally committed to the Boilermakers.

Schmitt, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from Louisville (Ky.) Trinity High School, committed to Purdue last week. He also plays on the offensive line in high school.

Schmitt was rated the No. 2 snapper nationally in the Class of 2010 by Ray Guy/Pro and No. 1 snapper by Kohl's Kicking Camp (4.5 out of 5 stars).

In addition to Purdue, Schmitt was also being recruited by Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina. He also had a scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky, Hope's alma mater and first head coaching stop.

"We wanted him to go to a school where he could succeed academically," his father Karl Schmitt, who played at Morehead State University, said. "And academics at Purdue are as good as any you can find in the United States.

"We also wanted a place where he could succeed athletically. Those two things are why he picked Purdue."

Helping Purdue's cause was the fact that the Schmitt family has known Hope and Boilermaker offensive coordinator Gary Nord for years.

His father also said it was important to his son that Purdue puts so much emphasis on special teams.

"(Boilermaker special teams coach) J.B. Gibboney is an expert at kicking and snapping and special teams and that was very important," Schmitt's father said.

Schmitt, whose mother was a swimmer at Miami (Fla.), attended Purdue's camp in June of 2008. It was at that time the Boilermaker coaching staff noticed how effective a snapper Schmitt was.

"One of the coaches said, 'Hey your son can really snap,' and that's when it (the recruiting process) all started," his father said. "The guys at Purdue said he was pretty special."

Schmitt plays for powerhouse Trinity, which won the 6A championship in both 2007 and 2008.

As a sophomore in the 2007 state championship game versus arch-rival St. Xavier, made a perfect PAT snap with 32 seconds left in regulation with score 28-27 to send the game into overtime.

In addition, on two occasions he had perfect games in front of 39,000-plus fans at the University of Louisville's Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in regular season versus St. Xavier in the "Catholic Super Bowl."

Schmitt was error-free on 30 punt snaps and numerous kick placements for Trinity's undefeated junior varsity teams for two seasons.

Schmitt is the Boilermakers' ninth verbal commitment in the Class of 2010.

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