Hours before coaching the biggest game of his life, Glen Snodgrass sought solace in the York High School weight room, a natural spot for York’s head football coach and strength and conditioning coordinator.
It was the afternoon of Nov. 21. Later that night, Snodgrass’ Dukes would capture a state title with his son, Garrett Snodgrass, leading the charge in their 31-0 victory over Omaha Skutt Catholic. But earlier in that weight room, Glen Snodgrass received a phone call from then-Nebraska coach Mike Riley. At first, Snodgrass assumed Riley was simply wishing a fellow coach good luck. But there was much more to the conversation.
Nebraska wanted to offer Garrett, a 3-star athlete.
“It was an emotional moment for me,” Glen said.
But there was no room for distractions, not on this day. So Glen opted to not tell anyone other than his wife.
“For me personally, it was very emotional,” Glen added. “I’m a lifelong, diehard Husker football fan. To have your son be somebody that’s going to play for them one day is pretty awesome.”
The decision to tell Garrett after the game, in between the trophy presentation and media interviews, created an unforgettable memory.
“It was a fairy-tale moment,” Glen said. “I guess it couldn’t get much better.”
Garrett — the fourth-ranked recruit in Nebraska and No. 71 athlete nationally, according to the 247Sports composite rankings — committed to the Huskers three days later.
“It was a pretty amazing couple of weeks for our family,” Glen said.
Garrett planted himself on Nebraska’s radar after his freshman season, his dad said. During York’s stretch run in the playoffs, Garrett played particularly well. In the championship game, Garrett rushed for 209 yards on 26 carries, along with 2 touchdowns.
“I kind of was starting to get the feeling there was going to be some offers coming,” Glen said. “Didn’t know it would be Nebraska first.”
By that point in the Huskers season, the writing was on the wall that Riley would lose his job.
“When Coach Riley extended the offer, I think everybody pretty much knew what was going to happen,” Glen said. “He even made the comment that he hopes he’s around to coach him.”
The only thing the Snodgrasses questioned was whether Garrett should commit then or wait until the next staff arrived.
“When he committed, he committed not necessarily to a coach or a coaching staff,” Glen said. “He committed to the University of Nebraska.”
Garrett attended junior day a couple of weeks ago, linking up with fellow Nebraska commit Ethan Piper for the first time. He and Glen will make the trip to Lincoln for the spring game next week.
Like his father, Glen has been a diehard fan since he was born. Glen outfitted Garrett’s crib in the hospital upon his birth with a Huskers football.
But offers are never guaranteed. And when Garrett didn’t hear much from the Huskers for the first couple of weeks new coach Scott Frost was on the job, the Snodgrasses began planning other visits. Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Wyoming, Indiana, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Harvard were some schools that reached out to Garrett in December.
“Garrett knew he still definitely wanted to go to Nebraska,” Glen said. “But he was getting a little nervous. There was a lot of visits and recruiting options available to him during that time frame and he was turning those things down when he wasn’t 100 percent sure about Nebraska and Coach Frost’s intentions.”
The potential visits were canceled when Frost called and re-offered Garrett, which took place about two weeks after Frost was hired. Glen has a relationship with Frost, since both grew up in central Nebraska and have mutual friends, such as Nebraska football’s chief of staff Gerrod Lambrecht.
“I think [Garrett] knew that he was going to play for Nebraska,” Glen said. “It didn’t matter. And I asked him, ‘Garrett, if any other team in America offered you — let’s say Alabama offered you — would you go anywhere other than Nebraska?’ ”
Garrett’s response to that premise was, according to Glen: “I can’t see [myself] going anywhere else other than Nebraska.”