Counting down the 50 most important Illini
No. 47: Zach Hirth, long snapper
Why he’s important: Someone has to get the ball to punter Justin DuVernois and holder Tim Russell. It appears the responsibility will fall to Hirth, who did not play last year. The red-shirt freshman had the chance to learn from three-year starter Zak Pedersen last fall. Now, if he can secure the starting job over Centennial product Michael Martin, he’ll have the opportunity to maintain his anonymity. Unless he botches a snap by sending one way over DuVernois’ head or by one-hopping one to Russell. The long snapper doesn’t want to see a group of reporters asking him questions after a game. So if we don’t talk to Hirth this year, don’t take offense. He’s just doing his job.
Fast fact: Hirth, who hails from Eureka, Mo., (otherwise known as the home of Six Flags St. Louis), came to Illinois a preferred walk-on and picked Illinois over Iowa State.
Tomorrow: No. 46