ATHENS – Upon his first day in Georgia’s preseason camp under legendary head coach Vince Dooley, walkon center Mitch Frix was gathered with the rest of the linemen when coaches asked who among the group might’ve done some long-snapping in high school. Frix raised his hand, and the rest is snapping history.
The Bulldogs are now on their third Frix. Ty Frix served as the Bulldogs’ snapper from 2009-12. Trent is currently a senior and in his first season as full-time long-snapper, though he’s done other things on the field as well.
But it all started with Mitch Frix, who’s now an orthopedic surgeon back in his hometown of Calhoun.
“He raised his hand because he did it in high school,” said Trent Frix, who has told the story a time or two. “They picked him out and said ‘we want you working on this.’ So from then on he was working on long snapping. When my brother got in seventh grade, that’s when he learned, when my dad taught him. And I just learned it because if my brother was going to do it I was going to do it, too.”
Trent had to bide his time. He came to UGA after attending the Air Force Academy prep school for a year. He handled long-snapping duties in six games in 2013, but worked only scout team the following season. Last year, Frix was the backup to Nathan Theus at long-snapper but actually saw action on special teams as an athlete. He was on the kickoff return and punt return units.
The 6-foot, 211-pounder won the long-snapper job for this season and has been on the money so far.
“He’s been solid as a rock,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “He had played some games prior to this season and snapped some, so he gave us a little experience and leadership in that group of specialists. He has consistently performed well, and he works really hard in practice.”
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they’re out of young male Frix’s at the moment, so the line ends with Trent for now. But if Trent one day has a son, surely they can count him to deliver another snapper.
“I’ll probably show it him,” Trent said with a laugh, “but it’ll be his decision if he wants to do it or not.”
Here’s a quick Q&A with Trent Frix as this week’s “5 Questions” guest:
1: I guess there is a little Rodrigo Blankenship mania going around now that he made his last nine field goals and that game-winner last week. Have y’all been giving him a hard time for his newfound fame as “Rec Specs” and “Wild Thing?”
Frix: “We mess around with him just like anybody in the locker room, you know, jokes here and there. But it’s all in fun, nothing personal. He definitely thinks differently and approaches situations maybe a little differently. But he’s a smart kid and he works hard. We call him.”
2: You guys were struggling with placement kicks at the beginning of the year, Blankenship included. What happened to get it turned around?
Frix: “We’re just working hard every day. We have a specific task that us specialists have to do, so we work on perfecting that. So we’ve work on that every day as the year has gone on and we’re just focused on that now.”
3. What do you think held Blankenship back from winning the job from the beginning and what got him going now?
Frix: “It’s a big difference, pressure-wise, from high school to college. And also kicking off the ground rather than a tee, may play into that. (Blankenship) missed his first kick but, other than that he’s been perfect. I’ve seen the kid kick for two years now in practice. I have all the faith in the world in him.”
4. You and your brother Ty aren’t far apart in age. Do you ever call him for advice?
Frix: “We have a great relationship. I see Ty every day. He actually lives right beside me. We’re neighbors, so I see him every day. If I need to talk to him about anything, he’s always there for me.”
5. One thing that hasn’t wavered is quarterback Jacob Eason serving as the holder. What does he bring to that job?
Frix: “He’s a great holder. You know, he’s a big target, so I’m glad about that. Great target, great hands. I have all the faith in the world if I just get it back there he’s going to make the hold.”