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WVU Specialist Named To National Award Watchlist



It looks like WVU players will be getting individual recognition in all facets of the game, as long snapper Rex Sunahara has been named to the Patrick Mannelly Award Watchlist.

The Mannelly Award is given annually and recognizes the best long snapper in the country. Named after long-time NFL long snapper Patrick Mannelly, the award’s winner is selected by a committee of former NFL specialists, coaches, snapping instructors, player agents and sportswriters.

Sunahara has had a long path to receiving this recognition, beginning his college career as a two-sport athlete at Rhode Island, playing football and basketball. With his father, Reed, on campus as the women’s volleyball coach, Rex transferred to WVU without a guaranteed spot on the football team. He came to an agreement with his dad: either make the football team or be the manager for the volleyball team. After attending an open walk-on tryout, Sunahara was awarded a spot on the team.

Nick Meadows was a quality long snapper during Sunahara’s first two years in Morgantown and upon his graduation, Rex was named the starter for the 2018 season. He played in all 12 games last season, snapping for punts, field goals, and extra points. Sunahara was a major piece on units that helped Evan Staley make 16 of 20 field goals and Billy Kinney average 41.0 yards per punt.

The individual honors are starting to roll in for the WVU football team and Rex Sunahara has picked up some recognition for the Mountaineer specialists. Look for him to be a huge part of some successful special teams units at Milan Puskar Stadium this year.

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