Ryan Langan’s Journey: From 6-man football to potential NFL draft pick

The improbable story of a small town Nebraska native pursuing his NFL dreams

DJ Cadden, Correspondent

In 6-man football, every player is an eligible receiver whereas in 11-man only six players can be ruled eligible. Quarterback run, a staple of many 11-man offenses, is prohibited in 6-man as the player who receives the snap may not cross the line of scrimmage. Extra points in 11-man are with just a single point, but are worth two in 6-man. These are just a few of the many differences between the two variations of the sport.

Hailing from Riverside, Nebraska, a town with a population of around 80 people, Ryan Langan never played 11-man football growing up. This also meant that Langan had never heard of the long snapper position.

Growing up in Nebraska, Langan was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan by default. During his junior year, Langan and his father attended a Cornhusker game. This is when Ryan said he realized he truly wanted to play Division I football.

“I told my dad I wanted to play Division I football, but I’m not big enough to be a lineman,” Langan said, “I can’t throw the ball. I’m not fast enough.”

Despite the obstacles that seemed to be hindering his dreams, Langan was determined to find his way on a Division I football team.

 “This kid came running out, his name was Jordan Ober. He was 5’11”, a kind of pudgy kid,” said Langan, “I looked it up and his position was ‘LS’.”

‘What’s an LS?’ is the first thought that popped into Langan’s head. After a bit of online research, he quickly realized it stood for long snapper.

This was the first time Langan or his dad had ever heard of the long snapper position. However, as a 6-man football player, Langan was his high school’s primary snapper. This experience, albeit limited, was enough for Langan to begin to pursue his dream.

Langan, knowing the long snapper position was his only real shot at garnering a Division I offer, began to hone his skills. He would spend hours at a time in his dad’s work shed snapping balls until his hands became numb.

“Going to that Husker game and seeing that really caught my eye,” Langan said. “I was like ‘Oh, I could do it.’ I know this is something I could be really good at if I put my mind to it.”

After his junior season in high school Langan contacted Chris Rubio of Rubio Long Snapping, which is the most well-known long snapping camp circuit in the country. Rubio put an eager Langan in contact with former Nebraska long snapper Gabe White, who would practice with Langan once almost every week.

Eventually Langan would begin to attend Rubio’s camps. After his first camp as a junior, he was ranked as roughly the No. 160 high school long snapper in America. At his next camp, he was boosted inside the top 40. After his final Rubio Long Snapping camp, Langan finished the year as the No. 18 long snapper in the country.


‘Hard-working son of a gun’

Although he put in hundreds of hours of training, Langan failed to receive a Division I offer during his senior season.

This all changed in February of 2017. That is when Georgia Southern special teams coordinator, now head coach, Chad Lunsford contacted Langan and offered the Nebraska farm boy a full-ride scholarship.

“Our starting long snapper during the spring decided he wasn’t coming back,” recalled Lunsford, “We go on a mad rush looking for somebody. We talked to his dad and mom and they came out on an official visit.”

The visit was just the icing on the cake for Langan. He committed just a few days later and his dream of playing Division I football was fulfilled.

None of Langan’s teachers were surprised when Langan earned a Division I scholarship. They saw his work ethic was unmatched among his peers and was a great teammate in every facet of life.

“I walked up to the school, it’s pretty hot and there’s Ryan on his last day here,” said Riverside superintendent Stephanie Kaczor when describing Langan’s work ethic, “The morning I pulled up he had already fixed our flag pole, pruned the bushes for us, and he was shoveling rock.”

By the end of his four-year career with GS, Langan had more than 500 snaps without a single miscue. Langan, who at one point did not know what a long snapper was, finished his Eagle career as an All-American and Patrick Mannelly Award finalist.

As for his NFL dreams, Langan is remaining humble. After participating in the 2021 Senior Bowl, Langan returned to Florida to resume his training in preparation for the NFL Draft.

When asked what the one thing he would tell NFL general managers if he got the chance, Langan’s message was simple: “I’m a hard-working son of a gun.”

This statement holds true as Langan prepares for the draft. His senior bowl performance saw Langan remain perfect on snaps and even record a tackle.

After his final college game, Langan has temporarily relocated to the state of Florida to continue to train for the upcoming draft which begins on April 29.