Maryland’s bus-driving, wing-eating long snapper

There are probably a lot of things you don’t know about Maryland fifth-year long snapper Greg Parcher. To help alleviate that problem, here are seven of them

1) He had just one year of long-snapping experience in high school.

Parcher had played some baseball at Archbishop Spalding, but “wasn’t good enough to continue with that,” he told me at Maryland media day Monday morning.

After focusing on the long snappers while watching a football game, he began practicing the craft with his friends for fun. A football coach at the school eventually asked him to try out for Spalding’s team as a receiver his senior year. During practice, he saw a teammate long-snapping the ball and earning praise.

“I was like, ‘What? I can do better than that. Let me try one,’ “ Parcher recalled.

He snapped a ball to a coach, and almost immediately earned the job.

2) He can long-snap a football into a basketball hoop.

Since he didn’t start playing football until his senior year, Parcher had no experience at specialty camps and little video evidence of his skills. In addition to his game tape, he thus uploaded a video to YouTube that showed him long-snapping a football the length of a basketball court and into the hoop. (See above.)

Back then, it typically took him about 10 tries to pull off the trick, but the day he videotaped himself, he nailed it on the fourth take.

While talking to Maryland’s coaches on the phone, he directed them to that video.

“Watch this video, watch this video!” he heard coaches saying to each other.

“I think that really did help me get recruited here,” Parcher said. “I had a highlight video from my senior season, but I think that was what really got them going.”

3) He used to be a bus driver.

Parcher was a walk-on for his first three seasons in College Park. That’s why he answered a help-wanted ad he saw on the side of a Maryland bus in the winter of his junior year, following his first season as a first-stringer.

The next day, he got the job. He was ready to start driving last fall, when Randy Edsall informed him he would be put on scholarship. Still, he kept the job for two semesters, earning $10 an hour and driving about 12 hours a week.

“I loved it,” he told me. “I mean, it was relaxing work. I enjoy driving.”

“That’s like his title: Greg the Bus Driver,” teammate Evan Mulrooney said. “You see his skinny [butt] behind the wheel, trying to steer it around. It’s funny — he’s not your stereotypical bus driver. He’ll look over at you, trying to make sure you don’t see him – ‘Hey, Greg, hey man, pull over!’

Alas, with his scholarship secure, Parcher will not be driving the bus this year.

“It’s a shame,” Mulrooney said. “Transit UM is losing a gem.”

4) He’s taking one class this semester.

Parcher is at Maryland for a fifth year to play football and work on his craft, but he needs just one elective to finish his degree in Geographic Information Systems. That class, he decided, would be Maternal and Child Health.

“I guess all dads need to know that eventually,” he said. “I’m hoping it’ll help me out down the road.”

5) He’s eating a lot.

With school essentially finished, Parcher is preparing both for the coming season and for an eventual Pro Day audition. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and hopes to hit 215 or 220 by the end of the season.

That meant a diet of 5,000 or 6,000 calories a day over the summer, featuring plenty of Chipotle, Noodles & Company and chicken wings.
“I think I’ve actually had Looney’s Old Bay wings 16 out of the 18 days before camp,” he noted. “I’ll just go down and get ‘em as a snack, because I live upstairs from the place. There was one day when I was eating them, and towards the end of the dozen I got a little sick of ‘em, but the next day I was back and ready to go.”

6) He’s working on the team’s recycling habits.

Over the summer, Parcher couldn’t help but grimace when he saw dozens if not hundreds of protein shake and Gatorade bottles filling the trash cans in the team’s weight room. He asked the strength coach about getting a recycling bin. Then he was sent to the director of football operations. Then he was sent to the school’s facilities management department. He’s awaiting a final decision.

“I just figured if we had a recycling bin, it wouldn’t be that hard just to recycle them,”
he said. “Hopefully we can get that in.”

7) He’s conducted one interview during five years at Maryland.

And this was it.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · August 6, 2013