Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Sports

August 9, 2013

Colts: Colts long snapper creates unique friendship with teen cancer patient

(Continued)

Though their hotel rooms were next to each other, Overton and Clarett rarely spoke during the 2010 season. When the Nighthawks found a long snapper who could also play tight end a year later, they released Overton to save a roster a spot.

A few weeks later, he took a job in the team's community relations department. Then the UFL folded, and he was on the street in a town far from his California home.

To comply with the terms of his probation, Clarett also had to remain in Omaha. So he offered Overton  a place to stay, and a unique friendship began. The two woke early every morning and trained all day. In part, because they literally had nothing else to do. But also because Clarett had once squandered a dream, and he couldn't bear the thought of watching Overton give up on his.

"Realistically, he knew that he would probably never play football again," Overton said. "And I think he got a thrill out of me striving for that because he knew that I had a legitimate shot. He really just wanted me not to give up."

Overton didn't give up. He attended a long-snapping clinic in Arizona in 2012, and he was spotted by Colts assistant special teams coach Brant Boyer. One thing led to another, and Overton ended up in Indianapolis. He was competing against Justin Snow, who had been the Colts long snapper for the previous 12 years, for a job that employs just 32 men in the world.

"Every year as a free-agent long snapper, there's really maybe four teams out of the 32 that are really legitimately looking for a guy," Overton said. "And, fortunately enough, the Colts were that team."

He soaked up everything he could from Snow, watching his every move and listening to his every word. When the final cuts were made at the end of camp, somehow Overton went from an unemployed former community relations staffer to a member of an NFL roster.

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