Cole Snyder, LB
2005 stats: 98 tackles, 41 assists, 16-69 tackles for loss, 5-26 sacks, 3-55-0 interceptions, 3 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble
The player: The first time I saw Snyder I was watching the Vandals play San Jose State because I was looking at some Spartan. I was sure the Vandals would get creamed and they did, but it wasn't Snyder's fault. He seemed to be all over the field and to have memorized the Spartans' playbook. When it was over, Snyder had 17 tackles, a safety, a pick and a blocked extra-point return for a two-point conversion. Though not stopwatch fast, Snyder is a born football player who makes plays all over the field in both the passing and running games. A sure tackler with a quick, analytical mind, he's a natural for kick coverage. Still, he has problems at times avoiding and shedding blocks. And it'll be harder to run around blockers in the NFL than it was in the WAC.
How he fits: Snyder joins Dale Robinson, Kyle Killion, Brandon Hoyte, Nick Hannah, Keith O'Neill, Keyon Whiteside and anyone I may have forgotten for that ill-defined special teamer/backup linebacker role. While Snyder has a great brain and technique, he may not have the athleticism or versatility to make a name for himself in the NFL.
Reminds me of: Vinny Ciurciu, Panthers
AP Photo/Joe Barrentine