PARKERSBURG-West Virginia University senior long snapper Cody Nutter won't be taking part in the popular television reality series "Survivor," but the former Parkersburg South standout will be participating in a survivor-take-all scenario when he reports to rookie camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.
"I am leaving here on Thursday, flying out of Pittsburgh and will take part in Tampa Bay's rookie mini-camp until Sunday," explained Nutter. "Basically, the competition will be between me and one other guy for the long snapping job. The winner will get to sign his contract."
Nutter, a three-year starter for the Mountaineers, did not hear his name called during the NFL's recent draft, but knew he would be receiving a phone call over the weekend.
"I guess I was pretty sure," said the player. "I was talking to a few teams. It was definitely gratifying to finally receive that phone call, however."
But, the surprise was the team on the other end of that call.
"I had no clue that I was going to get a call from Tampa Bay. They just came out of nowhere."
Of course first-year head coach Greg Schiano may have had a lot to do with that call. The former Rutgers University head football coach got an opportunity to see Nutter perform over the past three seasons, including in the Mountaineers' 41-31 come-from-behind victory in Piscataway last fall.
Despite a driving snowstorm that left the field covered with ice and made walking a hazard, the veteran long snapper was his usual perfect self as WVU placekicker Tyler Bitancurt made good on 4-of-5 extra points.
Eight times the Mountaineers were forced to punt during the contest and each time Nutter made sure that the ball got back to former Parkersburg South teammate Michael Molinari, who averaged 38.2 yards per punt.
"I'm sure that he (Schiano) knows a lot more about me because I played against his teams at Rutgers for four years. I'm sure that it didn't hurt that he saw me play, especially that game up there this year."
Two other Mountaineer players -linebacker Najee Goode and defensive back Keith Tandy - already have signed free agent contracts with the Bucs.
"I'm excited," said Nutter. "I'm anxious to compete. But, I know that if it doesn't work out there that I will have some other opportunities ahead of me."