The goal for most college football stars at the NFL Combine is to walk away from the week-long spectacle with reassurance for their NFL Draft dreams. Not Cal Adomitis.
Adomitis, the Mannelly Award winner as college football’s top long snapper, is the only long snapper in attendance in Indianapolis. Long snappers aren’t usually drafted, and Adomitis isn’t worried about that. He believes he can play at the next level, and he just wants to solidify that belief this week.
“Honestly, just emptying the tank and giving my 100 percent,” Adomitis said at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday. “Not coming here and trying to do anything out of the ordinary or what you know you’re capable of. You’ve put the work in, hopefully, with the work put in, you perform at your absolute best of your ability.”
While it may seem tough to stand out as a long snapper, Adomitis has done nothing but standout since arriving at Pitt out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Adomitis started every game between 2017-21, serving as Pitt’s short and long snapper. A team captain at Pitt, he made his impact on the field. And he made, arguably, an even greater effort off the field.
A 2021 AFCA Good Works Team member, named for his commitment to community service, Adomits’s “Cal’s Kids” initiative raised almost $115,000 for the UPMC Children’s Hosptial of Pittsburgh — and it led to the shearing of his long locks.
A Pittsburgh native through and through, Adomitis looks forward to the chance of continuing the tradition of great Pitt players thriving in the NFL.
“Obviously I’ve always wanted to play NFL football, but in addition to that, it’s having the chance to continue representing the University of Pittsburgh at the next level,” Adomitis said.
And like Penn Hills’ own Aaron Donald, Adomitis has the unique opportunity to do so as a Pittsburgh native. Donald’s own rise, he said, is a cool reminder that his journey can and does happen.
In the meantime, Adomitis is still looking to put his best efforts forward in a unique situation of his own at the Combine. The special teams unit, comprised of a few punters and kickers and himself, has worked the process as a group so far.
“It’s kind of a roundtable description since there’s only like eight, nine guys in our whole specialist group,” Adomitis said. “We go, we sit down, there’s probably seven or eight special teams coordinators and maybe some of their assistants with them.
“It’s definitely intense because you’ve got eight guys peppering you with questions, and some of its technical, some of its past playing performances and things you’d like to improve.”
However, Adomitis said it’s also been more lighthearted in getting to know the coordinators and staffers on the other side of the table. After all, he said that in order to put together a good special teams unit, there has to be teamwork and chemistry with the guys in the room.
As the only long snapper in attendance, Adomitis will be working his drills with a slightly different unit. And while his 6-foot-2, 250-pound frame is built, he’s not quite on the level of those he’ll be working with Saturday.
“Absolutely, I’ve been doing a lot of prep for the on-field work,” Adomitis said. “Actually, today I’ll be doing my 40, broad, all that stuff. I’ll be with the D-line grouping, and tomorrow I’ll be with the specialist group, we’ll be doing all of our football-related stuff — kicking, snapping, some footwork.”
The NFL footballs are, of course, a bit bigger than those used at the college level. But Adomitis doesn’t imagine either himself or teammate Kenny Pickett will have any issues at the next level.
Both Pickett and Adomitis will be back in Pittsburgh for Pitt’s Pro Day on March 21, and he’s going to continue training leading up to the next chance to showcase his abilities. Adomitis has been working with former Pitt punter Kirk Christodoulou in preparation for his Pro Day.
Adomitis has stayed in touch with his Pitt teammates too, including Byron Floyd — his heir apparent at the position next season. While Adomitis is off to the next level of football, working to fulfill his NFL dream, he’ll always be a Pitt man through and through.