Most high school long snappers don’t get to continue their special relationship with a punter at the collegiate level. Notre Dame decided to pick up Cowart and Ben Turk from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida after they helped the Raiders win two state titles, however, maintaining a connection serving the Irish well over the past four years.
Cowart took the long-snapping duties as a true freshman, playing every game save the Navy contest where the Irish didn’t punt. In 2010, he was the long snapper every week and was credited with one special teams tackle. Cowart was the team’s top long snapper again (along with handling placements) for much of the 2011 season but only played in nine games as he lost four with a hand injury.
Reliable snapper for punts and field goal attempts with a smooth, one-motion delivery. Flashes an NFL-quality spiral and velocity to complete the punt snap in the 0.70-second range and the placement snap in half that time. Generally accurate in his placement of the snap in the hands of his punter.
Smaller than most teams prefer for the position, will need to prove himself in blocking against NFL special teams units. Will lose some velocity and force his punter to move to either side to bring in his snap on occasion. Average speed downfield and has few coverage tackles in his career, must show he can stay in his lane against tough blocks and corral or slow down pro returners downfield.
Cowart and high school teammate Ben Turk have formed the Irish’s successful punting combination over the past three seasons, preventing opponents from blocking any kicks during that time. His size might not be ideal for the NFL, but if he can be more consistent in his velocity and accuracy, he could earn a snapping job at the next level.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.