Don Muhlbach’s NFL career started because needed a ride after school


Lions long snapperAP
Photo/Rick Osentoski

Don Muhlbach is likely one of the longest-tenured veterans in the
NFL that you’ve never heard of.

Now in his 14th season with the Detroit Lions, and about to reach
his 200th game on Sunday, Muhlbach is one of the most dependable
players in the league at doing what he does. But his long career
may have never come to fruition if not for a few chance
circumstances of Muhlbach’s high school life.

As Kyle Meinke at MLive
notes in his expansive profile of the long snapper
, Muhlbach
got his start snapping in high school because he needed a ride

With an August birthday, Muhlbach was one of the last kids in his
class to get his license, and his ride home happened to be the
quarterback and punter for his high school team. Since he had to
spend most of his time during practice serving his duties as
quarterback, much of his punting practice had to come after the
rest of the team had finished up. And since Muhlbach wasn’t just
going to sit around for the practice after the practice, he got
to snapping.

From there, his talent became clear, and Muhlbach would later be
able to at the team as a walk on at Texas A&M and later
start his long and fruitful NFL career.

There’s a lot of other great nuggets in Meinke’s story, from
Muhlbach’s relationship with quarterback Matt Stafford to
his strict pregame routine involving banana slices and
“In the Air Tonight,” but the reason we have any of those stories
in the first place is because at one point he was just a
kid who needed a ride home.


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