After calling central Ohio home for his high school and college football careers, Liam McCullough is headed to Nevada.
The standout long snapper, who played for Worthington Kilbourne and Ohio State, signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders on April 26.
"It really hasn't quite hit me yet," McCullough said the evening after signing his contract. "It's hit me at some times, but I've been grinding for so long that throughout high school and college and now in these last couple of months, I haven't been able to sit down and soak it in.
"As soon as I called the coaches and made the decision, my first thought was, 'Let's get to work.' I need to start watching film (and) get into the weight room. I need to do this, that and the other."
McCullough said he had spoken to 17 NFL teams and received interest throughout the spring, but ultimately whittled his decision down to either the Raiders or the Detroit Lions.
Conversations with Raiders assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and special teams assistant Byron Storer ultimately lured him to Las Vegas, where he'll have an opportunity to play in a new stadium, utilize new facilities and play for a franchise in the first year of its relocation from Oakland.
"Everything just seemed right with the Raiders," McCullough said. "Between the new city, the new facilities are nice, but really hearing coach Bisaccia talk, hearing him as well as Byron Storer, hearing those two guys talk to me and tell me about the importance of special teams to them ... and hearing the importance (the Raiders) put on that and that they put on the job of the long snapper, it really reminded me a lot of the culture of special teams at Ohio State."
McCullough became the starting long snapper for Kilbourne as a freshman after former coach Vince Trombetti took notice of his ability and potential on special teams. He went on to start for four years and attracted the attention of college scouts.
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer eventually offered McCullough a scholarship and made him only the second Buckeyes long snapper to receive a scholarship out of high school. McCullough was redshirted as a freshman before playing in 54 of 55 games from 2016-19 and never botched a snap.
"I'm very excited for him," Trombetti said. "As a coach, when you have a kid that gets to play at the college level, you're very excited for that. There aren't too many that get an opportunity to play at the professional level."
With NFL organized team activities in a state of flux because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, McCullough has been training in Columbus while focusing on snapping, conditioning and weight training.
McCullough is 6-foot-2 and currently weighs 247 pounds. He said his goals are to maintain weight and strength while transitioning into football shape to prepare for training camp.
The Raiders' virtual rookie minicamp is scheduled to begin Friday, May 8.
McCullough, who graduated from Ohio State in 2019 with a finance degree, will presumably compete with incumbent long snapper Trent Sieg this summer. Sieg has been with the Raiders since Week 2 of the 2018 season.
McCullough's younger brother, Roen, is a junior long snapper for the Buckeyes
"We're really excited for (Liam) and the opportunity he has to play at the next level," father Mike McCullough said.