Photo By J. Alan Paul Photography
GET TO KNOW
James Fisher graduated last December. He’ll put grad school on hold when he pursues an NFL career after the season.
HOMETOWN: Bloomington, Minnesota
HIGH SCHOOL: Bloomington Jefferson
POSITION: Long snapper
Bison long snapper James Fisher went viral this summer. The football team was practicing indoors during a crummy August morning. Fisher, who has been long-snapping for the Bison every game since the start of the 2014 season, had his skills blow up the internet when he snapped the ball into another football that was placed on punter Jackson Koonce’s head.
It was one of the 50-70 snaps Fisher estimates he takes during each practice. The football team’s practice is structured into periods of either five or 10 minutes each. During the five-minute punt period, Fisher says they try to get 10 snaps in. During the 10-minute periods with the whole team, he’ll try to take 20 snaps.
Whether he’s snapping footballs into things placed on his punter’s helmet or into the waiting hands of the kickers, Fisher’s snaps are always on point.
“It’s turned out to be way better than I could ever dream,” Fisher said. The Bloomington, Minnesota, native has logged 50 games for the Bison since 2014 and has three championship rings to show for it. “To play for something bigger than yourself makes everything a lot easier and you’re able to put forward as much effort as possible to help your brother out.”
Fisher admits at the end of the day, his job is to make the kicking game go as smooth as possible. He’s been successful and the FCS has noticed. He was named STATS FCS All-America Second Team in 2016 and has been named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference second team twice.
Fisher has also flourished in the classroom. He’s been on the conference’s honor roll every year since arriving and received his bachelor’s degree in management last December. Before he finishes his master’s in business administration at NDSU, Fisher will pursue a career in the NFL.
ART OF THE SNAP EXPLAINED
The difference between a field goal and punt snap.
James Fisher: “A punt, I put about 100 percent into it. The short snap doesn’t require that or any legs. I don’t use my legs in field goals. It’s more just a firm snap.”
What he does after snapping for a field goal.
JF: “I try to take up as much room as possible and help those guards out if I can just because there are some big guys down there.”
What he does after snapping for a punt.
JF: “My job here at NDSU is to get out as fast as I possibly can and to get downfield and whether we call a kick right or left, I’m supposed to keep him (the returner) to that side of the field.”
Will we see another trick shot video?
JF: “We have one in the making. Something to look out for in the future.”