by Nicholas Williams
Two-sport athlete Alex Snyder signed a National Letter of Intent to play football for the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The Redhawks participate in the Ohio Valley Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision. Just three years ago, the program was conference champions and competed in the FCS playoffs. Snyder is excited about being on campus next semester.
“I loved the campus when I went up there,” Snyder said. “Cape Girardeau [,Mo.,] is a college town and it isn’t too big or too small.”
Snyder was in conversations with the prominent football programs Texas Tech, Arkansas and Cincinnati.
However, after coaching changes within those programs, the universities decided to look elsewhere.
Snyder still had multiple schools to consider. University of Texas-San Antonio, Angelo State, Mississippi College, Stetson University and Bringham Young University all expressed interest in him.
Ultimately, the coaching staff is what set the Redhawks apart.
Four Southeast Missouri State coaches played, coached and/or graduated from the University of Nebraska.
“The coaches had a real impact on me,” Snyder said. “Being able to learn from four former Nebraska players and coaches is going to be a real experience and I will be learning from the best.”
While Snyder played offensive tackle for the Eagles, the Redhawks’ coaches believe he possesses the attributes to play any position on the offensive line.
“The [Redhawk] coaches said they will start me out at tackle,” Snyder said. “But I can snap and pull so they will put me where they need me.”
Offensive line coach Tim Clarkson also believes Snyder has the athleticism to play anywhere on the line.
“His athleticism is evident with his success in rugby where he also is a great runner with the ball,” Clarkson said.
Other than size and athleticism, according to Clarkson, his intelligence and work ethic are what makes Snyder a unique player.
“He is smart and dedicated to his craft,” Clarkson said. “He works hard everyday to become a better player.”
Snyder was the anchor of the Eagles offensive line this past season. A three-year letterman for the Eagles and two time member of the TAPPS All-State team, Snyder is grateful for the opportunities that St. Thomas has presented him in his four years.
“St. Thomas gave me the tools I needed to perform with the off-season program and the lifting period I was able to take,” Snyder said. “St. Thomas also gave me the ability to reach out to the coaches with the HUDL system and send them my film.”
Snyder will be a second-generation Division One football player. Mark Snyder, Alex’s father, was a former quarterback for Rice University and later signed with the Dallas Cowboys, whom he played briefly with.
“It has always been a dream to play college football like my dad,” Snyder said. “Now I get to live that dream.”