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Eagles long-snapper, former UTEP star used video of another player to get scholarship

By: Bill Melugin

EL PASO, Texas -- Jon Dorenbos has been the long-snapper for the Philadelphia Eagles since 2006, but ask him how he got his scholarship at the University of Texas, El Paso, and hell crack a smile.

KFOX14 caught up with him at a Miners basketball game where he was signing autographs for fans. It was the former UTEP football players first time back in the Sun City in eight years.

I haven't been back here since 2006, Dorenbos said. I'm embarrassed to say that, but I love El Paso, I love the way the coaches, community, and fans treated me. El Paso to me was love.
Dorenbos told KFOX14 he submitted tape to UTEP of different players long-snapping. The school apparently liked what they saw, and offered him a scholarship. But his incredible story starts much earlier than that.

Dorenbos father killed his mother when Dorenbos was only 12 years old. He was put into foster care, and turned to sports and magic tricks to keep his mind off it all.

Fast-forward the clock, and he ended up playing football at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., which is where his journey to the NFL began.

Dorenbos told KFOX14 he had tried some long-snapping in high school, but was primarily playing linebacker at Golden West. When his best friend, a UTEP player, told him the Miners needed a long-snapper, he decided to think out of the box when he sent a highlight tape out to different teams.
Golden West had a long-snapper who was unreal, Tim Thurman, he was 6-foot-6, he was better then than I am now, Dorenbos said. So I put a highlight tape together, I put my linebacker stuff and Tim's snapping in it, I said it was me, and they were like, Wow this guy is a legit snapper!.
UTEP was impressed with the video, and had the 6-foot Dorenbos come visit.


I came in here and I took my trip, they offered me a scholarship, the rest is history, Dorenbos said. I played here, I loved every second of it, I got to play with my best friend, I got to play Division I football for the Miners, and I'm still going, I'm 34 and still putting pads on."
Dorenbos told KFOX14 he came clean to his teammates about the video during his junior year.
I kind of felt bad, but I knew I could do it and I just needed the opportunity, Dorenbos said. Because I had handled my business on the field, it was kind of easy to tell them, cause I don't think anybody really cared at the time, but if I would have flopped and been terrible, that would have been so bad."
Dorenbos said by the time his senior year rolled around, UTEP coaches were telling him he had NFL potential as a longsnapper.
I was like, Alright, so that means less meetings, I'm not as sore after games, and I get to go to the NFL? I'm in, sign me up, Dorenbos said.
And thats exactly what he ended up doing.
"I left here and went and played for the Buffalo Bills for a little bit, then I went to the Tennessee Titans which was great, and then I got to go to Philadelphia and I got to play for an El Paso legend, Andy Reid, Dorenbos said.
Dorenbos told KFOX14 he has no regrets, and knows blue-collar El Paso will understand why he did what he did.
"People work hard here, and that's all I was trying to do, work hard and get an opportunity, Dorenbos said.