Football’s name is a bit of a misnomer – the sport is all about the hands. The quarterback “hands off” to a running back and a great wide receiver has “soft hands.”
Even a punter, whose primary job is to kick the ball as far down field as he can, needs his hands to be effective.
“I think the drop is the most important thing. If you don’t drop the ball the right way every single time, you won’t get a good punt off any of the time,” Delaware punter Eric Enderson said. “Hands might not be thought of as most important for a punter, but they actually are more important.”
Enderson’s hands draw double duty on Saturdays. As a punter En- derson needs to receive the ball from the long snapper and execute an accurate drop for a strong punt. As the team’s holder on field goals he has to receive and place the ball accurately in less than a second for the kicker to be effective.
Some players’ hands take a beating the entire game.
“In blocking, having great hands makes it easier to grab someone else’s jersey and that helps you tremendously,” Delaware tight end Nick Boyle said. “Also, if you have bigger hands, it helps you catch the ball better and get a better grip on it.”
Boyle suffers the abuse of blocking defensive linemen and line- backers trying to rush the quarterback off the edge on one play, trying to force his hands under a rusher’s pads to direct him away from the ball carrier. On the next play, Boyle might find himself running across the middle of the field ready to catch a bullet from quarterback Trent Hurley.
“I think your hands and feet are both about equally important in any position you play in football, especially running back,” Delaware run- ning back Jalen Randolph said. “You can’t do anything without your hands.”
Randolph might have the most pressure on his hands. In most games, only the quarterback and center touch the ball more than a team’s running back, but neither take hits Randolph does while having to maintain a grip on the ball.
All in all, it’s the Hens’ hands that get the job done on Saturday, no matter how much the name might throw you off.