Those who learn how to adapt in life, survive unexpected changes.
Nick Sundberg played offensive tackle as a high school sophomore.
A new coaching staff switched him to center and told him he needed to learn how to long snap as well.
Sundberg asserts, he was horrible, not even adequate.
Yet he kept working, trusted his coach and even after what he says was an average senior year, he improved dramatically following the season, earning a scholarship as a long snapper to the University of California.
At Cal, Sundberg earned the starting long snapper role as a freshman, maintained a stronghold on the position, snapping all 13 games each of his four seasons, playing in each of his 52 college games.
Going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, he signed with Carolina; however the Panthers cut Sundberg in August.
Following a brief stint on the Ravens’ Practice Squad, the Redskins signed the free agent in January, 2010.
Tress Way, Dustin Hopkins and Sundberg all have the distinction of being undrafted, then waived by other teams before catching on and serving well (long terms) as specialists with the Redskins.
His wife (Flor) was reading one evening and shared a story of washing clothes for kids who don’t enjoy that stability and blessing in their home.
Starting with five locations in 2016, Sundberg’s Loads of Love program now reaches into 91 locations, providing washers and dryers for kids’ clothes, and he has now been nominated two of the last three seasons as the Redskins choice for the Walter Peyton NFL Man of the Year.
Nonetheless, Sundberg is quick to credit the Redskins Charitable Foundation saying they have really run with this project.
Inside the Numbers:
Nick Sundberg will celebrate his 33rd birthday on July 29th. He was born 1987 in Phoenix, AZ.
Growing up in Phoenix, Sundberg played his high school football at North Canyon high, becoming their first player to make it to the NFL.
A young Sundberg told Redskins’ Special Teams Coach Danny Smith, he was never coming out of a game.
Nick then had his promise ruthlessly tested when in the first game of 2012, he broke his left arm against New Orleans.
No. 57 would later say it was quite painful, but he managed to wrap the arm, play the rest of the game, delivering six more perfect snaps.
Nevertheless X-rays revealed Sundberg’s broken arm was bad; the Redskins had to place him on the Injured-Reserve list, limiting him to eight games in 2012.
Long snapper Andrew East competed against Sundberg early in last season’s training camp; however, Nick prevailed and East was released by the Redskins August 3.
A ten-year veteran, Sundberg (6-foot-1, 254 lbs) signed a four-year contract in 2017, and now enters the last year of his contract.
Video Analysis / Highlights:
Hours and hours of work; Sundberg snapping and working with Dustin Hopkins:
Watch Sundberg, the only Redskin (not punting) who actually knows what to do on the trick play.
Sundberg having played ten seasons in the league has yet to have been voted to the Pro Bowl.
Yet, he is a super hero for those in the Hemophilia Innovation
What They’re Saying:
After Meeting with Coach Ron Rivera in February:
“Any time you get new leadership it should motivate you to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Was I a part of the problem or am I part of the solution?’" - Nick Sundberg
Concerning Nick Sundberg as a Person and Player:
“He’s been in the NFL a while. I respected him before I got here, but when you get a chance to work with him one-on-one, he’s a really good football player too.” - Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor
Regarding Coach Rivera Dispensing of the Ping Pong Table from the Locker Room:
“I can’t argue with Coach Rivera; if that is something he thinks is going to make a difference, then I am on board, one hundred percent. Hopefully, maybe someday, we can earn it back.” - Nick Sundberg
Mike Clay's 2020 Projection:
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Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18