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“One of the reasons I gravitated toward football so much was because when I was younger, he was gone with the football team,” Bo Snelson said. “So I correlated in my mind playing football with spending time with my dad. Those four years in my high school, I got to spend every day with my dad.”

He learned plenty about football while playing for his dad. But something else was forged along the way: how to channel his competitiveness in the right direction.

What wasn’t a surprise was where his boisterousness originated from.

“I’m kind of a fire-and-brimstone guy,, and I coach with a lot of passion and like to have fun,” John Snelson said. “He definitely saw that model, and he has just taken it to another level.”

He just happens to be small for a Division I player.

He’s also quick and smart and Texas tough, traits O'Rourke took away from his spring travel four years ago.

“He’s got so many redeeming qualities you can’t measure with an eye test,” O'Rourke said. “We’re not an amusement park. You don’t have to be a certain height to be a good football player. He just brings a lot to the table. If everybody was like him, we probably wouldn’t lose any games - just with his toughness and work ethic and other things you have to have to be a good football player.”

Captaining a turnaround

In Turner’s mind, there wasn’t much question who would serve as Navy’s offensive captain next season. Nor with the rest of his teammates, who overwhelmingly voted him into the position.

For Snelson, it still was a surprise.

“I just said, ‘You have won lots of awards, but you’re going to find out this is the best one ever,’ ” John Snelson said.

It was striking in part because Bo Snelson, while a regular on special teams early in his career, never has started a game. Navy’s captains last year (Alexander Teich and Jabaree Tuani) entered the season with a combined 48 career starts. The year before, Ricky Dobbs and Wyatt Middleton owned a combined 50 starts. Navy’s other captain this year, linebacker Brye French, has made only nine starts - all coming last season.

“I do not think I’m the best leader on this football team,” Snelson said. “There’s no way, not by a long shot, that I’m the best athlete on this football team. There are guys in the senior class and the underclass that command more respect than me in the locker room. I told them ‘You guys elected us, so if you feel like something needs to be done, come talk to us.’ “

For his part, Snelson will make sure he talks to everyone, whether at practice, in an offseason weight-lifting session or, as Turner found out, during a game if necessary.

Whatever the message, he will back it up with his own approach. He always has.

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