In the locker room of Lucas Oil Stadium, freshman long snapper Sean Wracher lags behind for a few minutes as he tries to collect his thoughts before heading onto the field for his first colligate game.
Wracher takes deep breaths to calm himself down as his mind races through all the scenarios he may face during the game. His knee bounces up and down nervously in time with the song coming through his headphones, "Legend" by the Score.
“When I went to Kohl's camps in high school they always played this hype video,” Wracher said. “Somehow the song has just gotten hooked into my head and I’ve listened to it before every game since my junior year I think.”
As a true freshman, Wracher has the opportunity to have one of the most impactful seasons out of all the newcomers to the roster.
“Sean Wracher, nobody's mentioned his name one time,” Allen said following IU’s win against Ball State University. “We went out and signed that kid right out of high school. A lot of times people go the route of taking those guys as preferred walk-ons and developing them; I don’t believe in that. So we went out and found the best in the country.”
Wracher wasn’t always one of the best in the country.
Despite his father playing offensive tackle at West Virginia University, Wracher’s original plan wasn’t to play on the offensive line. He was focused on playing both defensive end and tight end and only did long snapping as a way to help his local team.
It wasn’t until Wracher started playing in high school at Saint Ignatius in Cleveland, Ohio that he started to take long snapping seriously and saw it as an avenue to future success.
“The more I did it, the more I fell in love with it,” Wracher said.
As his love grew for the position, so did the work he put into his craft.
“Going into my junior year, I started to go to some camps,” Wracher said. “I started to pay more attention to the little things. My freshman and sophomore year I kind of just snapped the ball and then I started to learn and focus on the proper technique.”
During the winter, he would go into his high school gym with one of Saint Ignatius’ kickers and practice snapping. Repetition after repetition, Wracher would practice and record himself, afterward breaking down the film and coming up with drills to help himself improve.
Wracher’s attention to detail and the precision he has with his technique quickly shot him up the recruiting boards where he finished as the fourth-ranked long snapper in the 2018 class and caught the eye of many programs.
Wracher knew he was coming to Bloomington with big shoes to fill as he replaces Dan Godsil, the only long snapper invited to the NFL combine in March.
“It’s been a really smooth transfer,” senior kicker Logan Justus said. “He’s really good and he’s a really hard worker, so we’ve gotten a lot of consistent reps together.”
One of the things that has made Wracher’s transition as the starting snapper so smooth is the close relationship he has with Justus and the other specialists on the team. On Thursdays, you can find Wracher eating teriyaki wings with the rest of the specialists at Buffalo Wild Wings as their small groups’ way of staying close and being comfortable with each other.
The weekly trips to Buffalo Wild Wings seem to be working. The comfort among Wracher and the other specialists was evident in IU’s win against Ball State on opening weekend. He stood out for the Hoosiers’ special teams.
For Wracher, it’s all about being in his element, taking a deep breath and getting into a consistent groove that will allow him to be the X-factor that nobody talks about.
“I’ve done this thousands of times. It’s just another snap.”
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