The journey for Coppell senior long snapper and defensive back Zach Stricker to sign a National Letter of Intent to play Division I football began this summer while he was working out at a local gym.
Gary McGraw, the special teams coordinator for Sam Houston State, sent a direct message to Stricker with the intention of talking about the Bearkats’ program and Stricker’s football profile over a phone call.
Stricker said that he had never heard of Sam Houston State, but after research showed that its football team played Div. I football, he got really excited. And, it wasn’t just the fact that it was a Div. I program that intrigued Stricker – it was also the family-like atmosphere.
“It was an automatic spark,” he said. “We just hit it off. The coaches that I talked to there were super nice and super loyal to football and very family-oriented, which I really love. I can tell that this is a school that I wanted to play at.”
On Wednesday, which was the official National Signing Day for the Class of 2021, Stricker signed his National Letter of Intent to play long snapper for Sam Houston State. He signed the letter in his family’s house. He said that he plans to hold a ceremony at Coppell High School in February.
Stricker received multiple offers from Division II and III schools to play college football, but in the end, Sam Houston State felt like the perfect fit.
Long snapper was a position that Stricker first took up in middle school. He wanted to find a way to get onto the field as the same time as his brother, Skyler. Skyler, also a senior, was a kicker, but last December decided that his future was in soccer and gave his verbal commitment to Liberty University.
Skyler and Zach are the sons of former Coppell head girls soccer coach Chris Stricker, who retired from coaching in 2015 after 18 years on the sideline and leading the team to state titles in 2009 as well as in his final season at the helm five years ago.
Zach has been on Coppell’s varsity team in each of the last three seasons and has doubled as a long snapper and a safety. As a senior, he played through a high ankle sprain, but still finished with 69 tackles and two interceptions, helping the Cowboys to get back to the playoffs after missing out on the postseason last season for the first time since 2011.
“Zach is a great athlete and student that we see as an instant contributor at the long snapper position,” Sam Houston State head coach KC Keeler posted on Twitter. “A legitimate football player whose athleticism and perfection of his craft will set him up for success.”
Stricker is one of 18 student-athletes that Sam Houston added to its program on National Signing Day.