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Sunahara Named Semifinalist for Long Snapping Award

Cody Nespor

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Long snapper might be the least visible position on a football team.

A large percentage of WVU fans are probably unaware, but Rex Sunahara, WVU’s long snapper, is one of the best in the nation. On Tuesday, Sunahrar was named a semifinalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award. The award is given to the best senior long snapper at the Division-I FBS level.

Sunahara was recently featured in WVU Football’s Life as a Mountaineer series, where went walked around WVU’s downtown campus asking is people knew who he was. Unsurprisingly, no one did.

Mentioned in the video, Rex’s father, Reed Sunahara, is the head coach for WVU volleyball. Rex played football and basketball at Rhode Island for one year before transferring to WVU. He has been the team’s primary long snapper for the past two seasons.

Sunahara is a member of a special teams unit that has been outstanding this season for the Mountaineers. WVU has held opponents under 50 total return yards seven times this season and under 100 return yards nine times. This year Sunahara is crediting with making four tackles.

The only other Big 12 semifinalists for the award is Iowa State’s Steven Wirtel. Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 25 with a winner announced on Dec. 14.

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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