September 21, 2017
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – There probably haven’t been too many Seattle Seahawks flags waving in Brillion over the years. But, Judy Ott has a good reason to have one posted in her front yard. Her grandson, Tyler, is the team’s current long snapper.
Judy’s kids all grew up in Brillion and Dan, Tyler’s father, lives in Oklahoma where Tyler grew up playing football at Jenks High School. Tyler attended Harvard University and majored in economics and environmental science. He also played tight end, including a game where he tied a school record with three touchdowns which Judy proudly attended. Even though he was a productive blocking tight end, it was his skills as a long snapper that carried him to the NFL after three seasons of snapping duties for Harvard.
“I knew for sure he would have a real good shot at the long snapping position,” Dan said. Tyler began long snapping when he was in elementary school, and his father says he took to it well and also had a good coach in high school.
Strong athletic genes run in the family. Dan, who like all of Judy’s kids attended Brillion High School, finished third in the state in discus throw during high school and held a record that stood for nearly 30 years. Tyler’s grandfather on his mother’s side also played in the NFL.
The Harvard graduate was well traveled at the start of his NFL career. Tyler spent three seasons bouncing from the New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals before being signed by Seattle on January 3, 2017, just in time for last season’s playoffs.
Tyler’s story isn’t unique for a specialist in the NFL. Many gain experience in mini-camps and offseason organized team activities before, hopefully, settling on a more permanent home.
Tyler filled in for the Giants in the final game of the 2015 season, which was his first NFL regular season game.
Then, he appeared in three games last year for the Bengals early in the season, before receiving the call from the Seahawks to be the snapper for the team’s playoff games against Detroit and Atlanta.
“He knew going in the first two or three years that long snapping is kind of one of those positions where everyone wants someone with experience,” Dan said. He added that Tyler knew what to expect with his first few teams. “He knew going in he was pretty much there to take snaps and get some experience.”
Tyler spent this past offseason competing with Nolan Frese, who was the team’s long snapper before he got injured at the end of last season. Frese was released prior to the first preseason game in August, making way for Tyler to take control of the position.
Please see the complete story in the September 21, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.