Grandville lineman long snapping his way to success

Bryce Bouwens long snaps the ball at a Grandville football practice.

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Friday’s games officially marked the midway point of the high school football season.

Teams are still chasing a trip to the state finals at Ford Field and hoping for a state title. But for some of the players, their careers won’t end after their final high school contest.

One member of Grandville’s football team is hoping to put himself in that class of players who will advance to the next level to play on Saturdays.

Senior Bryce Bouwens is taking a different route than most to get there. After starting his career as a quarterback, Bouwens moved to the line after his freshman season.

However, he realized his size of 6 feet and 200 pounds, wouldn’t allow him to play at the Division I level like he dreamed. He started working on a different craft as a potential avenue to a scholarship: long snapping.

“You don’t have to be a big guy, don’t have to be fast,” Bouwens said. “Just have to be consistent with it and be able to work your butt off.

He’s spent countless hours honing his craft and gone to long snapping camps around the country. His hard work is paying off, as he is the top-ranked long snapper in the state of Michigan and among the top 10 in the country.

“He is very good, he’s going to be a Division I long snapper,” head coach Eric Stiegel said.

Bouwens has been contacted by over 30 schools around the country at both the Division I and II levels.

“The recruiting process just got crazy for me, from there,” Bouwens said. “I have over 10 Division I schools looking at me and you know, it’s just a crazy thing.”

He has made recruiting trips to Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan this year, each of which have invited him back. There are also trips scheduled to Indiana and others in the coming weeks.

“My dream has always been to play Division I football, so I’m not going to let that slide,” he said.

For now, he will continue to long snap for Grandville, as well as play on both the offensive and defensive line, something he knows he likely won’t be doing at the next level.

“I’m trying to get as many reps as I can at offensive and defensive line, just because I know I’m not going to be able to do that in college. But I’m just making the most of it right now,” he said.