Unfortunately, Vance Burton graduated meaning he is no longer on the team despite being the best snapper in the program last year. Burton who started his career at Curry College in Milton ended it as the starting long snapper for the Minutemen.
This year, the Minutemen have a pair of long snappers: Nick Berus and Emmett Odegard. Both of these men are products of Chris Rubio long snapping who is a prestigious long snapping coach. Combined the two amount for just one game in UMass history which came when Berus saw some action in the Wisconsin game last year as a true freshman. He did not start the game but dressed for a number of games implying that he is definitely a talented snapper.
In high school, Nick Berus played both ways and oddly enough was a skill player. Playing defensive back and wide receiver back then while snapping, Berus does not fit the prototypical mold of a longsnapper. Typically a long snapper is short, stocky, muscular and has a low center of gravity. Of course they come in all shapes and sizes but Berus can get the job done.
A redshirt in 2013, Emmett Odegard is the other candidate for the long snapping job. The Greenwich Connecticut native played guard in high school in addition to snapping. Odegard looks more like the stereotypical long snapper since he is big but not as big as a college offensive lineman. Odegard is the better blocker of the two and is stronger than Berus, giving him a slight advantage in that aspect of it all.
Even though the Minutemen will typically carry both men in any given week, without seeing either of these men snap year, Nick Berus is the favorite to win the starting long snapping job. To put it simply, he and Odegard are the same age and Berus earned the backup job last year over Odegard. Of course, hard work always pays off especially with long snapping. It is the type of position where physical limitations do not hurt a man and practice is the only way to get better. Coming from a writer who can long snap, the winner will be whoever put in more work this off season regardless of past rankings on the depth chart.