Kyle Vasey started his football career at Delaware Valley High School in New Jersey, a school where the football program is so popular and the fight for playing time so fierce, he figured there was a shot he’d never even start a game.
Now, he’s heading to the NFL.
Penn State’s long-snapper and a graduate of Wallenpaupack High School, Vasey announced Saturday that he has signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons, where he will be on the 90-man roster when OTAs start in a few weeks.
Vasey went to Penn State as a preferred walk-on in 2014 after a successful career as a snapper and defensive end for the Buckhorns. He became Penn State’s starting long-snapper in 2017, and by 2018, he earned a scholarship with the Nittany Lions.
It’s an interesting opportunity for Vasey. The Falcons have a pretty good long snapper, 30-year-old Josh Harris, who has twice signed long contract extensions with Atlanta. The most recent came last November, a three-year deal that could keep him in red and black through the 2021 season. A month after signing that extension, though, Harris suffered a season-ending hip injury that landed him on injured reserve. So, Harris is almost certain to miss mini camp, and given salary cap constrictions in the NFL, it is worth wondering whether a team with a long snapper on a long deal coming off a significant injury might want to look for a younger, cheaper, potentially healthier option.
That made the Falcons one of the coveted landing spots for hopeful long snappers, and it’s a good sign for Vasey that he’s the one who got the call there.
Worst-case scenario: Harris comes back healthy in August. But not until Vasey gets a lot of looks in Falcons camp and someone else decides he’s a better option that what they have.
Best-case scenario: He wins the job.
So, for Vasey, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.