With 45 days until the Indianapolis Colts kick off their season against the Denver Broncos, we look at No. 45, the most beloved long snapper in the NFL, Matt Overton.
Matt Overton is perhaps the NFL’s most beloved long snapper, but around Indianapolis he can be considered one of the city’s favorite athletes.
Like other Ryan Grigson signings, Overton found his way to the Colts via the road less traveled.
Out of Tracy High School in Tracy, CA, Overton attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. Afterward, he transferred to Western Washington University where he was a team captain as both a defensive end and long snapper.
Overton went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, but was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent. He bounced back and forth from the roster to the waiver wire time and again before finding a new job with the Tri-Cities Fever of the Arena League 2 (af2) in Kennewick, WA.
After his stop in Kennewick, he dipped his toe into the United Football League, as he signed with the Florida Tuskers of in 2009.
The NFL and the Seahawks decided to give Overton another chance in 2010, but it did not last long. After he was waived, he went back to the UFL, playing with the Omaha Nighthawks and with former Ohio State University star Maurice Clarett. Following his 2010 season in the UFL, he was named as one of the league’s top ten players.
His 2010 season was enough to catch the Colts scouting department’s eye, and he was brought into the NFL once more. This time, it would stick. Overton joined the Colts at just the right time. 2012 was the year of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the #CHUCKSTRONG campaign. But 2012 was also a year where the organization became more transparent to fans, and the players really became recognized in the community and for their philanthropic efforts. Overton was a centerpiece of that, frequently being shown at Riley Hospital for Children, even befriending several patients.
On the field, it can be hard for a long snapper to stand out, but Overton did just that, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2013.
Rotoworld.com’s description of the Colts signing back in 2012 read like this:
“Colts signed LS Matt Overton, formerly of the Seahawks.
‘A camp body long snapper, Overton is 27 and has never played in an NFL game.’”
Not bad for a Pro Bowler, eh?
Off of the field, Overton leads the organizations “Pros 2 Youth”, as well as “Led by Pros” focusing on today’s youth.
I spoke with Overton and asked him how it feels to be a part of the Indianapolis community and the Colts organization:
“Blessed beyond belief to be a Colt and I wouldn't want to play for any other team. Playing for a world class organization, having the greatest teammates and playing in front of the best fans around is pretty awesome! We will hoist it very soon!”
***Wikipedia and Rotoworld were valuable resources in fact-checking.
For more of the “Indianapolis Colts Countdown to Kickoff” series, check out the entries below!
CTK No. 98-90
CTK No. 89-80
CTK No. 79-70
CTK No. 69-60
CTK No. 59-50
No. 59 Cato June, No. 58 Gary Brackett, No. 57 Josh McNary, No. 56 Daniel Adongo, No. 55 Quentin Coryatt, No. 54 Andrew Jackson, No. 53 Ray Donaldson, No. 52. D'Qwell Jackson, No. 51 Henoc Muamba, No. 50 Jerrell Freeman
CTK No. 49-40
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Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager and the Indianapolis Colts Lead Writer for Pro Football Spot, as well as a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurISR and @Spot_Colts on Twitter, as well as on Google+, or send Jake an e-mail at JakeArthur0890@yahoo.com.