Ep 92: Long snapping great Tanner Purdum
“Hey, get in the van”
Episode 92 brings you one of the most unique stories this side of Dyersville. From the classroom to the practice field to HBO’s Hard Knocks, Tanner Purdum’s story has it all. He’s a small college role-player whose path to his professional career started after a few beers and a friendly contest at a tailgate. After 7 flawless years of long snapping for the New York Jets, Purdum retired in 2018, ending his stellar career as an NFL role player.
Tanner Purdum and Tim sit down at Stockyard’s Brewing Company in Kansas City for a beer and one helluva story. Some of our Moonlighters overcome great adversity or had a magical moment that makes their name stick in a fan’s memory. Tanner Purdum’s story is a little different. He worked hard, got an opportunity, and took pride in no one knowing his name.
Tanner played quarterback and long snapped at Baker University all four years. After graduation, he got a shot with the Kansas City Chiefs for the specialized role. Although it didn’t work out on the Chief’s practice field, another opportunity came later from some friendly competition in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot. Former NFL kicker Louie Aguilar got into a kicking contest at a tailgate with Tanner serving as the snapper. Aguilar was so impressed that he offered to start working with Tanner and help him get him another NFL shot. These workouts led to a phone call from the New York Jets.
“It’s a game. Have fun with it… and if somebody gets on you, have thick skin and get over it.”
The call came while substitute teaching in Waco, Texas. Next thing he knows, Tanner is off to the Jet’s practice facility and calling his wife to tell her he signed an NFL contract. Purdum then went on to play seven seasons with the Jets, none of which included a botched snap or penalty. On March 28, 2018, Purdum announced his retirement from the NFL and headed back to Baker University to coach.
On top of dissecting the long snapping position, Tanner and Tim discuss playing for Rex Ryan, All-Pro teammates, and a season on Hard Knocks. Enjoy episode 92 with Tanner Purdum and don’t forget to check out the extended video of this week’s interview on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!