GREEN BAY – As the Packers closed the offseason program last month, perhaps no one was more appreciative of his spot in the auxiliary portion of the locker room than Jack Coco.
The former Georgia Tech offensive lineman…turned long snapper…turned tight end…and now turned long snapper again put in the miles to earn his place on Green Bay's 90-man roster.
"I've been working my whole life to have an opportunity like this," Coco said. "My hard work from high school to college – changing positions multiple times. Always having that skill of long snapping has really paid off. It gives me an opportunity to come here and compete for a spot."
Coco had a fascinating five-year run with the Yellow Jackets. He snapped on field goals and extra points for three years but never in-game on punts. An aspiring offensive lineman when he walked on in 2017, Coco eventually dropped 30 pounds and moved to tight end during his redshirt junior year.
After earning a full scholarship last summer, Coco didn't snap in games at all as a senior and concentrated solely on the tight end position and other facets of special teams.
Coco wasn't sure where his eclectic football resume would lead during the pre-draft process, but the 6-foot-2, 248-pound athlete still was bound and determined to find out – choosing to delay the completion of his master's degree in real estate development.
"I'm one credit away," Coco said. "I talked to my professors because I was supposed to write my thesis this summer, but they told me, 'The thesis can wait. Go chase your dream, go pursue this as much as you can, because you can come back and get this degree.'"
Having dabbled at both tight end and long snapper, it raised a question of where this jack of many trades would focus his training leading up to Georgia Tech's March 14 pro day.
So, Coco did it all. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he would snap, do blocking drills and run routes. He lifted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and left Saturdays for cardio.
"At pro day, I was doing whatever I could possibly do to get anyone's attention," Coco said. "It just happened that long snapping was that ticket."
A potential path to the pros emerged when Packers assistant special teams coach Byron Storer got ahold of the tape of Coco snapping and called him.
There was one slight problem. Coco missed the initial call. He was golfing when Storer reached out and panic struck when Coco realized what just happened.
"I saw it was from Green Bay, Wis., and I'm like, 'There's no way,'" Coco said. "I saw it and literally called him on the course and talked to him for about 10 minutes."
It was a good conversation with Storer offering some suggestions on what Coco should do if he was serious about pursuing an NFL opportunity.
Coco followed the instructions. He went down to Birmingham, Ala., to work with Mike McCabe at One On One Kicking, and met with former Tampa Bay long snapper Andrew Economos, whose time with the Buccaneers overlapped with Storer and current Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
Coco kept at it and finally earned an invite to participate on a tryout basis at Green Bay's rookie minicamp. He signed with Green Bay nine days later to compete with incumbent Steven Wirtel for the job.
The Packers' offseason program was a nine-week crash course for Coco in what's required to be an NFL long snapper. Having not snapped on punts since high school, the undrafted rookie has been doing everything in his power to hone his technique.
Before leaving for the summer break, Coco re-watched some of his film from the start of organized team activities and was astounded by how much he's improved during his short time with Bisaccia and Storer.
Coco hopes to continue building on that momentum when the Packers return for training camp.
"I just need a chance to get myself in the door, and I've done that," Coco said. "Now, it's just one step ahead, nose to the grindstone, keep going, keep pushing forward and work my (butt) off to give myself an opportunity."