I got the chance to speak with Iowa State long snapper and general football player Steve Wirtel during the Senior Bowl media day event on Tuesday, January 21st. The following is the transcript of our conversation.
Draft Rite (John Vogel): So I was just interviewing the other long snapper, Blake Ferguson. We were kind of talking about, first off, what it was like playing at LSU. So, you guys have a really good coach there, Matt Campbell, so what was it like playing at Iowa State?
Steve Wirtel: Yeah, I think Coach Campbell has been a guy where I could go on and on about all of the great things he has done. Not only for me, but for that program as well and, you know, to play for a guy like that I think that one of the biggest things is, you know, you have a long day at class, you want to show up each day and be like you know what? I get to go to practice today and to have that I get to do this factor, Coach Campbell really kind of emphasizes that and really makes that come to life for us. Any day you walk in that facility, you know his doors open twenty-four-seven. Those coaches, they’re young. They’re energetic. All of their doors are open, so, I think that the biggest thing about playing at Iowa State is that family atmosphere and they really live that. I think that’s the best recruiting pitch for anyone. It feels like you’re back at home, you know, and with your family. To kind of have a guy like Coach Campbell as your head coach, you know, he’s there for you and it’s a guy that I’m fortunate to have in my corner for the rest of my life.
Draft Rite: That’s awesome. So we were talking about how consistency is the biggest thing for a long snapper. Right?
Draft Rite: So what would be the next important trait, in your opinion, that you have?
Wirtel: I think that the next important trait that sets me aside from, you know, snappers around the country is my athleticism. That’s something I take a lot of great pride in, is the ability to get downfield, you know? ‘Cause at the end of the day I’m a football player too. I know that if you watch some guys, they don’t get downfield as quick as others, which is fine. One thing that I’ve really kind of just focused on is just being that athlete, and just being a reliable football player on that punt team. Whether it’s forcing fair catches, forcing the returner back inside or making tackles. I feel like at the end of the day, I just really enjoy being an athlete and I’m a guy who’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and make some plays.
Draft Rite: I gotcha. So is there any other positions that you’re kind of hoping to sneak into? Maybe get reps out of?
Wirtel: Yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about if it was it would be as a linebacker or something like that. Like I was talking to some of these scouts around here. I was a guy who played both ways in high school, and you know, I was a guy I’d always kind of be around at Iowa State and when our defensive coordinator, Coach Heacock, just telling him ‘if you ever need me somewhere, I’m always willing to go out there and do it. You know? I’m a guy that, um, I just love the game of football so any way to help a team win and any way to help an organization become successful, I’d be willing to do it.
Draft Rite: Awesome. Hey, I appreciate the time.
Wirtel: I appreciate you.