EL PASO – The six-foot-four Miner who stood out from the sideline with his golden locks, Matt Camilli is waiting to hear from the NFL in the coming days.
Long snapper Camilli had a phenomenal career playing for University of Texas at El Paso. Starting off as a walk-on freshmen and ending his career with the Miners with a scholarship.
Camilli was selected 2011 All Conference USA first Team his senior year, as well as special teams captain his senior year and ranked one of the top five senior long snappers in the country by Pro Football Weekly. He is now hoping to take his career to the next level with an NFL team.
“There has only been one long snapper drafted in nine years. Odds are he will be a priority free agent,” said Special teams Coach Jeff Banks. Saying he will not be drafted till the 7th draft round where he will be contacted and signed.
Camilli has turned heads while at UTEP for his height, size, determination for perfection and his trademark hair. He started his career his sophomore year as the primary snapper and since then UTEP has not had a punt blocked in 51 attempts. Serving as the Miners’ long snapper for punts, field goals and PATs (point after touchdown).
“My brother started playing ball in the 5th grade and I didn’t want him doing something I couldn’t do so I started playing” Camilli said.
He graduated from Mayfield High School in Las Cruces NM as a defensive-end and long-snapper, winning two state championships. Camilli joined the UTEP family soon after.
Although Camilli describes his position as a long-snapper as one of the most unnoticed and undervalued, that is until things go wrong, he attributes his success to this position.
His coaches at UTEP raved about the work ethic and drive that he brought to his position. “At some point in the next 12 months he will have a chance to win a spot in a team and be around for a long time. He will have an opportunity because of his work ethic,” coach Banks said.
“I think his drive and motivation to be a great long snapper, technique wise, is the part where I think he has done an amazing job,” Banks added.
Other than football, Camilli has other passions and aspirations, “if I hadn’t done football I probably would have moved to Albuqurque,” Camilli said. “Focusing on my professional snow boarding background.”
With a promising future and NFL teams showing interest in him, since teams have been watching film and contacting him, it is likely he will be saying good bye to El Paso.
“The one thing I will miss about El Paso is UTEP,” Camilli said. “It taught me skills I will use in life and gave me friends I will have for life.”
Editor’s note: On Saturday April 29, Matt Camilli was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles. Borderzine reporter, Stephanie Solis, is working on a follow up story about the four Miners that agreed to NFL free agent contracts.