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Jan. 24, 2013

Jon Cooper, Sting Daily –

Broderick Snoddy loves to run.

It’s something he recalls doing competitively since about age eight — although most of his days at Georgia Tech have required him doing so while either carrying a football or tackling someone who is.

Needless to say, it’s something at which he’s gotten pretty good. Snoddy’s already proved he can move pretty well with the football pads and a helmet on — Tech recruited him based on a 4.42 40 — and he showed last Saturday what he could do without any of that stuff weighing him down.

At last week’s Auburn Indoor Invite, free of the 20 pounds of football equipment, the Carrolton, Ga., native made a great first impression, reaching the finals of the 60-meters, running a 6.82 in the prelims to qualify, then, in the finals, setting a school-record with a 6.75, good for sixth place, 12/100th of a second off the pace. He did that as a relative novice with the Yellow Jackets.

“I tried to take the coaching for a week and then just went out and ran. I wanted to run under 7,” said Snoddy, who also finished fifth finish in the 200, with a time of a 21.51. “I got into the finals and I thought, ‘I must be pretty okay right now.’ Then I ran a 6.75 in the Finals, that turned out to beat the Georgia Tech school-record in the 60. So I was pretty impressed with myself.”

He wasn’t alone in admiring his performance.

“Setting a school record is a great accomplishment,” said Men’s Track and Field Head Coach Grover Hinsdale. “However, setting a school record in your first college meet is extraordinary.” 

Perhaps even more extraordinary was his having only that week or so of practice. Snoddy is sure that with more practice better times are ahead. That’s something Hinsdale told him after the record-setting run.

“Coach was pretty excited,” he said. “He just told me, ‘Good job. Congratulations. We’ve just got to get you to clean up everything and you’ll be okay.'”

While it was a great way to start his Yellow Jackets track career, Snoddy admitted that he could have used a better start.

“I didn’t really get the start that I wanted,” he said. “It was my first meet and I didn’t really get time to practice coming out of the blocks. I probably had like one or two days coming out of the blocks. I didn’t really have my blocks set. So it was kind of hard for me to actually get a good start. We’re going to Kentucky this week so hopefully I’ll have my blocks set and have a faster time.”

Snoddy was referring to this weekend’s Rod McCravy Invitational at Nutter Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kentucky, in Lexington.

“It’s going to be a while because I haven’t run in so long,” said Snoddy. “It might be a while for me to be able to get my speed back.”

Of course, track is a bit different from the way Snoddy first introduced himself to Georgia Tech athletics, as both an A- and B-Back on the football team. After redshirting, his freshman year, he got on the field in 13 of the Yellow Jackets’ 14 games in 2012. He carried the ball 13 times for 50 yards (3.8 yards per carry), with a long of 19 yards and scored on a two-yard run against Presbyterian. He also caught an 11-yard pass against Virginia. He even got to deliver some hits, making nine tackles (eight solo) on special teams.

His powerful 5-9, 190-pound build makes it rather obvious he has some gridiron experience.

“Some people realized that I play football,” Snoddy said. “They said, I was a little wide. They said, ‘You must play football.’ I said, ‘Yeah I play football.'”

With football season over and with the blessing of Head Coach Paul Johnson, Snoddy is has returned to the track after a year off. But this isn’t an either/or deal. He’s actually doing double-duty.

“Right now I’m doing track and football workouts,” he said. “I’ll do track in the morning and then I go to football in the evening. I don’t know if there is an advantage but I just go out and run and thenwith football I’ll go out and warm up with them and do a little bit.”

Snoddy is eager to see what these two-a-days add up to — ideally a higher level technique-wise and lower times.

Hinsdale believes in Snoddy and has for a while.

“We followed Broderick throughout his high school career and were very impressed with what he accomplished and the potential he displayed,” he said. “I am very excited about Broderick’s future in the program.”  

While there’s no rush to pick one sport over the other, there is precedent for student-athletes to do both football and track — University of Maryland/San Francisco 49ers wide receiver/Olympic hurdler Renaldo “Skeets” Nehemiah, University of Tennessee/Chicago Bears wide receiver/Olympic sprinter Willie Gault, and most recently 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III are just a few. There’s also precedent for two-sport stars at Georgia Tech, as recent graduate Roddy Jones played both A-Back and the outfield. Could Snoddy be next?

“Hopefully I’ll be able to do both,” he said.


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