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William Wagner named to preseason long snapper award watch list

The unsung hero of the squad isn’t under the radar anymore.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Purdue vs Michigan Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier on Monday, a couple of familiar faces in J.J McCarthy and Blake Corum earned spots on preseason watch lists. Now, a third Wolverine has gotten his name called — though probably not one you’d expect.

On Monday afternoon, Michigan long snapper William Wagner was announced as a watch list member for the Patrick Mannelly Award — given to the best college long snapper of the season.

Despite battling an injury last season, Wagner is still one of the unsung heroes for the Wolverines — having started at long snapper every game he’s been healthy for since his sophomore year in 2020. While his name might not appear on the stat sheet, it’s fair to say that without a good long snapper, Michigan’s special teams unit would be in for a long season.

In his last full season in 2021, Wagner was a backbone to kicker Jake Moody’s Lou Groza Award-winning campaign, receiving a co-Player of the Week honor on special teams against Nebraska.

Per the Mannelly Award’s website, “The winner must have started 75% of games in his senior year, snap on punts and placements, and demonstrate a strong mentality, notable athleticism, as well as speed, accuracy and consistency in their snaps.”