Read more: PLANNING AHEAD
By RACHEL STALLARD
The offensive lineman gets set for the snap of the football. Anticipation and adrenalin course through him as he plows into action, feet pumping, pads clashing, pushing ahead. David Snow, 23, loves delivering bone-crunching blows on the football field as a member of the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line.
However, the 6’4”, 305 lb. guard also realizes his professional football career is always one play away from getting sacked.
With the unpredictability of the game in mind, Snow snapped up the chance to get a graduate degree when the National Football League Players Association offered to pay for it. Snow enrolled in LeTourneau University’s Masters of Business Administration program and started classes in January. He and his wife, Holley, live in Tyler during the off-season.
“I wanted a college that was close, and everybody around here knows the LeTourneau name,” Snow said. “It’s a great school, and the graduate program is completely online, which helps me out because I travel back and forth. This was the best option for me.”
Carl Francis, communication director for the NFLPA, praises Snow for looking ahead.
“The NFL Players Association is always pleased when we see players like David take advantage of educational opportunities so they have a career path to fall back on once their playing days are over,” Francis said.
Snow says his MBA will prepare him to reach his goal to become a certified financial planner.
“The average career of a professional football player is three and a half years,” he said. “A lot of players don’t understand that. The money you make in football is a lot of money, but you’re not going to be making that for the rest of your life. My MBA will help me get a job and do something that I want to do, not something that I have to do.”
Snow was an East Texas football success early on as a starting guard all four years on the Gilmer High School Buckeye Football Team. He gained the attention of University of Texas Longhorn scouts after playing in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and being ranked as the second-best guard on ESPNU’s top 150 national prospects list.
Snow enrolled at UT in Austin, playing every game his freshman, junior and senior years and 14 games his sophomore year.
“I just love playing the game,” Snow said. “If you go up to someone at a bus stop and hit them like you do on the football field, you’d get arrested. But if you do it playing football, you get cheered.”
Getting an education was always his first priority at UT. He earned his corporate communications degree in December 2011 and joined the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in April 2012. He is proud of his NFL rookie season, where he played in five games and started in two.
“Buffalo gave me the best chance to get noticed and to play,” he said.
Snow understands that the popularity of being a professional football player comes with the price tag of responsibility — an exchange he takes seriously.
“Kids see us on TV, and all they want to do is talk to you, and they’re happy. When you hold that
much influence over somebody, you can either put them on the right path in life or the wrong path. I know many of these guys just love playing football and didn’t ask to be role models, but they go hand- in-hand.”
As far as the former “Bevo Beast” award recipient is concerned, professional football is merely a venue God has given him.
“Playing for the NFL has given me a great platform for being able to talk about Christ,” he said. “I’m not perfect, but I do what I can to further the Kingdom and leave the rest up to God.” This article was first published in the Spring 2013 issue of NOW Magazine, LeTourneau University’s official alumni publication. It is available online at www.letu.edu/opencms/opencms/_Other-Resources/_Community-and-Media/NowMagazine.html