Grassman snapping to success
Football has turned out to be a snap for Corbin Grassman.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior looks the role of a three-year starter at linebacker for Johnstown-Monroe High School. He also has fit in perfectly on offense as a tight end, but Grassman has another talent only a coach might find appealing.
He's the Johnnies' long snapper.
"I kind of picked up (long snapping) in youth football because they needed someone to do it," said Grassman, who had team highs in tackles (121), tackles for losses (15) and sacks (4) before the Johnnies played Ironton on Nov. 9 in a Division IV, Region 15 semifinal. "During my freshman year, I went to a camp at Ohio State and I won all of the competitions they had (for long snappers) and it kind of took off from there."
Those competitions were for speed and accuracy on both long and short snaps.
Coach Mike Carter said Grassman is an impact player in all three positions.
"Corbin is a great linebacker and tight end for us and is crucial to our team in all three of his roles," said Carter, whose team was 9-2 before playing Ironton. "As a linebacker, he has the drive to get in on every tackle and that's what makes him great there. He loves contact.
"As a snapper ... he really has put in a lot of time to improve those skills and it shows. That really is an overlooked part of the game."
Grassman said because a defender is not allowed to block him as a long snapper as long as his head is down, that gives him a chance to make first contact.
"A lot of times, I'm the first one down the field to make the hit and get the tackle," Grassman said. "I love playing a physical game and hitting a lot. It's best just to keep running downhill and hit someone."
That hitting helps on offense, where Grassman basically serves as an extra lineman. Through 11 games, he had eight receptions for 125 yards.
Grassman had one catch for 9 yards Nov. 2 in a 24-21 win over visiting Gnadenhutten Indian Valley in the postseason's opening round.
Senior teammate Nick Sadinsky stole the show with three receptions for 148 yards, including touchdowns of 70 and 66 yards from quarterback Tyler Thompson. Sadinsky had six catches for 76 yards and one touchdown in the first 10 games.
"Nick came up big for us (against Indian Valley) with those catches and two interceptions, including the one to win it for us (with 1 minute, 8 seconds remaining at the Johnstown 3-yard line)," Grassman said. "That was kind of a bittersweet win because it will be my last game on the home field, but it was a great way to finish there.
"The fans have always been great there (at Frank H. Chambers Stadium). The whole town comes out to see us every week. It's just a great place to play."
The Johnstown-Ironton winner will play top-seeded St. Clairsville or fifth-seeded Piketon on Friday, Nov. 16, at a site to be determined. St. Clairsville was 11-0 before the regional semifinal and Piketon was 9-2.
Grassman parlayed his versatility into Division I college offers and has verbally committed to Buffalo, a member of the Mid-American Conference. His cousin, 2012 Gahanna graduate Tyler Grassman, is the punter for the Bulls with a 34.4-yard average through nine games.
"I really like the campus there, I like all of the coaches and my cousin, Tyler, is there," Grassman said. "It's going to be great to finally be playing together. We wanted to do that for years, and I can't wait.
"But before I get there, I need to hit the weight room hard. I really need to get faster and stronger before I go there."