The 90 Illini #29: Ethan Tabel

Oct 11, 2020

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The longsnapper always has to be in the top-30, right? I think that should always be the case. McCourt's field goal isn't good without Ethan Tabel snapping off a snap. Blake Hayes isn't booming punts without Tabel tossing a dart (underhand, between the legs). And last season? Guess who was second on the team in punt return tackles. That's right - the longsnapper.

29. Ethan Tabel

Uniform number: 56
Year in school: Senior (1 year to play 1; with the Covid rule, technically 2 years to play 2)
Height: 6'-0" -- Weight: 210 lbs.
Hometown: Barrington, Illinois
High School: Barrington HS
Five best offers: N/A
Tom Cruise rating: N/A - was a walkon (now on scholarship)

2019 statistics: Snapped all 13 games.


First off, I always have to start with this - it's tuh-BELL, not table. I'm glad, too, because it allows me to make my "For Whom Tabel Tolls" jokes.

Second, he's an artist. Mostly sports stuff. Like Joe Kelly's famous pout directed at the Astros:

2020 Outlook

I guess the big question here is whether this is his last season. He'll be the longsnapper, and he'll snap it well. This is his fourth year as the longsnapper, so really the only thing left for him to accomplish is to lead the team in punt return tackles instead of finishing second.

But then there's the Covid rule. No one uses a year of eligibility this season. So even though he's a senior, he could return next year for a second senior season.

For a longsnapper, that might be an education decision. He's a redshirt senior, so he's in grad school right now. If he gets a second senior year, maybe he comes back to get two graduate degrees? He was put on scholarship in the middle of last season, so this is the first time he's gotten his schooling paid for, so maybe it's not a bad idea to add one more year of free school to that? Come back in 2021 and get a second masters in, I don't know, art. And he'd have a scholarship to pay for it.


WeatherfordForMVP on October 11, 2020 @ 11:37 AM

A fellow Barrington grad! Didn't know there were any on the Illini. Cool!

Dr. Chim Richalds on October 11, 2020 @ 11:57 AM

No capitalized pronouns here?? I for one am hoping He has a perfect senior season!

Robert on October 11, 2020 @ 10:58 PM

Man, how did I forget?

I hope He can forgive me.

GilThorpe on October 11, 2020 @ 01:04 PM

I played prep football from 1975-1979. I was a starting guard ( three guards were starters - we were the guys who ran in the plays - one guard was left side only , one right side only , and I moved from left to right based on the rotation ) . we three guards happened to be about the smartest guys on the team . But in prep football , there were no guys who only long snapped .
our regular center just wasnt any good at it . he could zing it , but it was all over the place . I had the ability to be really consistent . It meant I had to take a little off the speed of the snap , but I always got it to the punter . we didn’t kick extra points back then - few schools did .
so I have an affinity for long snappers as I wore that moniker Thursday’s in practice for 1/2 hour and 5-6 times during the games on Sat afts - very few teams played on Fri nights in the 70’s .

Norcal Illini on October 12, 2020 @ 12:16 PM

In addition to playing strong side tackle (our coach flipped the line like McGee and Petrino), I was the punter the last three years on my prep team and had a special concern about who the long snapper was (a different one each year). I had only two hiked over my head. My junior year, I didn't get one hiked over my head, but the guy hiked the ball so slowly, it was hard to get the punt off without being blocked.

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