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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Panther Profile: Nick Steffens

Sep 28, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Nick Steffens

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Nick Steffens is a senior at Mt. Pleasant High School and a member of the Panther football team.

Steffens primarily plays long-snapper for the Panthers, and is on his way back from being sidelined with an illness for the first half of the season.

Steffens met with The News on Tuesday after practice. The questions appear in bold with his answers following.

Did you grow up here in Mt. Pleasant? Yes, I did.

How long have you been playing football? Since as long as I can remember. It has always been a part of my life.

When did long snapping come about for you? Well, my brother’s friend Nathan McConnell, when I was in fifth-grade, said “if you can snap, you can go far in life.” I started in my back yard, set up a long chair and started snapping at it. When I came into seventh-grade, coach asked who could long snap. I raised my hand, and the rest is history I guess.

Have you made plans for after high school? I plan on going to the University of Northern Iowa and studying Marketing Management.

So what is a day in the life of a long-snapper? How does your practice differ from everybody else? I definitely have an easy practice compared to everyone else. I come out with the punter, Chase Lamm, and try to get about 20 snaps in. I stretch out with the team and then I go help the kicker, David Blancas, with his kicks. Then he’ll help me. I try to get about 50 snaps short and long each day. And then the rest of practice, I just try to give the teams looks and help out that way.

You do the long-snap trick videos right? Actually, it was around my sophomore year that I was doing a few of the videos. I was kind of toying around with it, trying to snap a Gatorade bottle off someone’s head, try to hit it. Snapping off trash cans, stuff like that.

So if I wanted you to snap an apple off my head, what is the probability you’d hit me in the face? An Apple? I think I could (knock it off). I’ve done Gatorade bottles before on the first try so people trust me with that. I think I could do it.

Maybe one day. Yeah, I think I could do it if you trust me.

When you’re long-snapping on punts and stuff, how much of your mind is on how many big dudes are around you? There are some linebackers that are definitely ready to go. I kind of get a kick out of them because I’m a small guy and I’m not really violent, so those guys come out and try to get me. It makes me chuckle because they are growling in my ear and I’m just out there to do my job.

If you were running for president and had to pick one of your teammates to be your running mate, who would you choose? Definitely Austin Buckert.

Why is that? I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with that kid. We just see eye-to-eye.

I’m going to put you on the spot here. We’re doing this interview right before powderpuff volleyball, but the story is going to come out Thursday. What is your prediction for the game? A lot of us play volleyball on weekends at the REC center, so we’re finely tuned and have that team chemistry. The juniors didn’t really impress me…but they surprised me. I thought the other juniors were going to win, so they’ve got something working for them.

We ask these to everyone. If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would you choose? For sure, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. That man can do anything. He’s definitely a busy man. He’s in everything.

What would you guys do? I don’t know. Definitely just watch him. I know he wakes up really early and works out so I’d just like to see his mentality and how he goes about the day. Just how he balances everything. I feel like I could learn a thing or two, apply that to school work and balancing sports, and stuff like that.

Could you snap a Gatorade bottle off of his head? Oh, I think so. He’s a little taller. I’m not working at those angles or anything, so I could do it.

You wouldn’t want to hit him though. Definitely not! You don’t want to make The Rock mad. His arms are bigger than me.

What if you could pick a superpower to have for the rest of your life? Teleportation. I feel like that one is underrated. Because I could be on stage with Jay-Z and Beyonce. I could go to Lou Malnati’s Pizza in Chicago and come back with a slice.

Have you ever been taken out by one? Not in high school but a few times in middle school. That wasn’t fun, but, I’m usually pretty safe.

What do you think is the proper football pump up music? It really depends on the mood. Me personally, I usually go for some hip-hop music. The big base gets me going. It doesn’t matter about the words as long as there is a big bass. Sometimes when I’m lifting I’ll get the rock going but I like hip-hop, Migos, something like that.

Who is your favorite teacher? Mrs. Kohorst for sure. She has this way where she’ll say something and it just feels like she’s talking to you, even if she isn’t. I just like how she can relate anything to your life.

Do you like English? She definitely made it more fun. The stories she chooses, I like to read.

Panther Profile is a series of interviews with Mt. Pleasant athletes currently in season. This season will focus on athletes in cross-country, football and volleyball.

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