Where Are They Now? Rubio Long Snapper PJ Tobyansen

1929591_574887992716_9507_nFor the next installment of “Where Are They Now?” we head to Southern California to hear from Rubio Long Snapper PJ Tobyansen (2006, CA). PJ was at UCLA with Rubio Long Snapper Christian Yount and is one of the most vibrant people you will ever meet and comes from an incredible family. Wait until you seen what he is doing now!

Check out what has been going on with Rubio Long Snapper PJ Tobyansen…

1.  What is your current occupation?

After my career at UCLA I have been working in the film industry in Los Angeles area and have done so for the past five years. My past employers have been Fox, Sony, and Marvel studios. I am currently working for Disney on the film The Jungle Book as a Visual Effects Coordinator for the past year and half. 

2. Where do you live?

I live with my wife Julie in Woodland Hills CA. We have been happily married for TWO months 🙂

3. Married/ Kids? Yes, no kids.

4. What is your fondest memory of your time playing college football? 

I have so many good memories that I would love to share about my time playing college football. But I will share two, meeting my wife for the first time at UCLA, and running out of tunnel at the Rose Bowl the very first game of my career. I will Never forget both of those memories.

5. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snappers, what would it be?

For all current Rubio Long Snappers my one bit of advise would be the following. Work on the little things in life, and continue to strive for greatness. You made the right move and your a Rubio long snapper. Rubio hammers into each an everyone of his snappers muscle memory. IT WORKS, plan and simple. You don’t get good muscle memory if you don’t work on the little things and your fundamentals. Just continue to grow and  practice the little things, the little fundamentals, work work work. If you keep adding 1% to your game each day by practicing this approach you will see your results shine. And I can assure you it carries over into your professional life.

6. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snapping PARENTS, what would it be? 

For all current Rubio Long Snapper parents my advice would be patients, TRUST RUBIO he is a wise wise man.

7. When was the last time you snapped a ball and for what reason?

The last time I snapped a football is actually a very funny story. The day before my wedding Friday June 26, 2015. Kai Forbath (Washington Redskins) who I grew up with and played football in HS and College. We were hanging out in my hotel suite and just messing around and catching up. My dad had a football there and Kai was begging me to snap to him for old time sake. Just to see if I still had it. I reluctantly agreed, thinking to myself man its been almost THREE years since the last time I snapped a football. So we had a good stretch of carpet 15 yards all that you need. I fired my first snap back as hard as I could and almost destroyed the thermostat on the wall. Kai yells at me “PEEJ!! a little off there!!” I screamed back hahhaa ok!! just getting warmed up here, give me a second!! I made a little correction and fired the next 5 perfect snaps back to him. I still had it!! He calls my parents in and goes he still has it!! I said two words to my parents MUSCLE MEMORY. It probably helped that I had an adrenaline rush going because it was the day before my wedding but I’ll take it!

 8.   If you could go back and play football in college again, would you go to the same school or a different one? Why? 

If I could go back and play college football again, even tho I did not play, I would still go to UCLA as preferred walk-on. I was a part of a GREAT TEAM, It was the best time of my life. I met my wife and made great memories with team mates and friends that will last me a life time. I also get the greatest kick out of telling my co-workers and friends that two out of the three players in my position group at UCLA play currently  in the NFL, and yes I was the 3rd that didn’t make it. I’m so proud of those guys, and proud to be a Bruin!

 9. Any regrets during college? Something you wish you had done or maybe hadn’t?

I have no regrets about my choices in college I would do it the exact same way. I worked very hard to contribute to the team. I learned a lot from my time as a student athlete and I am very grateful and so fortunate to have done so.

10.   What tremendous thing have you been a part of or experienced since you graduated?

The most tremendous thing that I have been apart of since my graduation from UCLA would be first and foremost my Wedding two months ago to Julie who was a former student athlete and national champion 3rd baseman for the UCLA softball team. It was the greatest moment in my life. Second would be my career I have worked on some of the greatest movies to come out over the last five years. I have worked on the following movies Jack the Giant Slayer, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Star Trek into Darkness, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Solider, Guardians of The Galaxy, and now The Jungle Book. Every movie feels like a new a season and a tremendous experience.  



Advice for Current College Athletes from Former College & Pro Athletes

Last week, I posted a blog that was current college freshman Long Snappers giving advice to incoming college freshman Long Snappers. It was great to read and, hopefully, gave some insight to the next batch of dominant college Long Snappers.

I decided to take it a step further and asked several of my former college Long Snappers if they have any advice they would like to give to the current batch of college Long Snappers. There is some absolutely terrific bits of wisdom here and well worth reading.

Here is what they had to offer up…

Justin Drescher – Colorado/New Orleans Saints “Enjoy all aspects of college and be a well rounded individual by the end of your time, because it only lasts 4-5 years! Its a short period of your life where you get to grow from a boy to young man, so cherish each and every moment no matter the difficulties in Football, Academics and Social life!”

Jason Bertoni – Arizona Choose the people you hangout with wisely, pick people that can help you grow and not hold you back. You will not only be judged for your actions but theirs as well.

Jeff Palmer – University of Oregon Embrace the grind with as many classes and tutors as early on as possible in your career so that you can enjoy your experience later in your career. Have fun early on but embrace the grind and accept the heavy workload because it will be rewarding to be an older leader on your team taking fun elective classes, having the younger guys on your team asking you for advice, and having more spare time to start preparing for your future (whether its training for the NFL or networking to find a job).

Tanner Gibas – University of Kansas “Make sure you make friends and get involved in as many things outside of football as possible. You never know when your last play is.”

Brandon Long – Rice University “Best thing you can do is get in with the O-line and avoid being seen as a kicker. Makes life easier. Also, have fun and don’t put added pressure on yourself, everything in athletics is a mind game at some point.”

Carson Tinker – University of Alabama “Know that you aren’t as athletic as everyone but work like you are”

 John Finch – Purdue “Realize that you are on the team to do one job and don’t expect any respect or gratitude from anyone until you perform on the field on Saturdays. No one owes you anything. Show up and do your job.”

Neal Dahlman – Bowling GreenKeep education number one, maintain a high GPA. There is life after football. As far as football, treat everyday like an interview, there is always someone out there working just as hard or harder than you. Continue improving to earn or keep your spot, never be complacent.”

 Tom Harrington – Western Michigan “Don’t let a coach change anything that they do.  A lot of times coaches want a snapper to change something in their form or the way they snap.  Do what got you to college and continue to work at that.  Most college special teams coaches has no idea about long snapping and how to teach someone.  I know it’s hard to tell your coach no but if its in your best interest then do it.”

Casey Hales – Duke “Take a minute and reflect on the 1st dream you had about being a long snapper in college. What did that dream look like? What did you look forward to most about playing in college? Now, take a moment and think about how that dream has changed or stayed the same.  Are you doing all you can to maximize what you want out of your experience? My advice, take a hard look at how you spend your time. Make the most out of your situation. Take advantage of all the resources around you to make your college football experience the best it can be. Work with Rubio! Spend time with your strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, and your academic support staff. You are living the dream right now, be grateful you are where you are and EMBRACE.”

Kevin Ballinger – Purdue “Keep working and have fun. You’re in a very unique position of playing at a high level without people noticing you. Take advantage of every opportunity a regular student does not get. Every student at your school would kill to be in your position. Secondly, work hard. The guys behind you who aren’t playing are working to take your spot. Finch is one of my best friends but my goal everyday was to take his spot on the field. Work so hard that the coaches have no choice but to play you. Have fun when it’s time to have fun, work hard when it’s time to work hard.” 

Tyler Schmitt – San Diego St./ Seattle Seahawks “My biggest piece of advice to a college snapper would be to think/ and train like you are a linebacker. Because on punt, you are a linebacker. Your NOT a kicker! Whether its running with the team in the morning, weightlifting, film ect. you need to train like a position player. Not only will you gain respect from other teammates, but your snapping will improve. The biggest advantage will be making tackles, which in a such a competitive position these days, is crucial.”

Evan Jacobsen – New Mexico Always try to perfect your art. You are there to snap so do it correctly. Our season never ends. Challenge yourself. Make your target smaller and smaller each time. Push yourself conditioning and weight room wise. Try to be the strongest player on the team. Always practice blocking because you never know what scheme you will run next year (I changed 4 times). In short, always push yourself and always get better. DO NOT PLATEAU. Do not be satisfied and watch film and critique yourself. Always try and improve. Listen to Rubio.

Zach Nolan – Stanford “Basically, every day is a chance to make an improvement, no matter how big or how small.  It’s a simple idea, but it’s something that really changed my outlook when I really started to think about it.  Everyone’s goal is always to be perfect.  Unfortunately, perfection is something that we can never truly attain.  There are so many things that we need and want to get better at, but if each day you set a goal that you’re going to pick one area that you hope to improve upon and put forth all your effort into that one aspect of your life (whether it’s on the field or off), you can get closer and closer to achieving perfection.  I believe every day is an unbelievable opportunity, and it’s up to you whether you take advantage of that opportunity or let it slip away.”

Mike Zupancic – Eastern Michigan “Never get complacent, if you want to be the best you must constantly work on your weaknesses. Every challenge that you face, bad weather or tough block, use it as an opportunity to become the best.”

Brendan Lopez – Washington Embrace the reality that one day you won’t play football anymore.  Every player has to come to terms with this and the sooner you do it the more successful you will be in the future. Thinking about the future can be very uncomfortable but having a plan and a goal in mind early on is better then trying to figure something out once you get there.  Don’t let playing football deter you from pursuing a career you might think is out of reach.  Apply to the business school, take organic chemistry, strive to be a doctor or an entrepreneur.  Playing football will only enhance these goals because every time you say “I play college football” you will automatically have a leg up on the other guy who didn’t.  Always have a goal and never settle for where you are today.” 

Corey Gibas – Texas A&MI have two pieces of Advice for current long snappers. School/Academics- Use all the resources your school and your athletic department provides for you. You have a busy schedule to maintain so lessen your stress level with the help provided. Get all your hard core curriculum classes out of the way so your junior and senior years are easy. Football- Cherish every moment you have left on and off the field. It’s not going to be the practices, workouts, or meetings your going to miss. Once you have ended your career you will miss the locker room, team functions, game day, traveling for away games, and your teammates. Those are the things your going to miss the most so cherish each moment. Take pictures so you can look back at this awesome moment of your life. Also share with people that did not get the opportunity you have received. Give back to the game as well. It’s treated you well during your life time so give back to it in anyway possible. Stay humble and never quit.

Corey Adams – Kansas St. Our very first team meeting in training camp, our coach asked the seniors to get up and say something to the younger players. The first person to stand up was the most respected senior (Jordy Nelson) and the room when completely silent. He was one of the people who let his actions speak louder than his words, so hearing him speak in front of the whole team was rare. The thing he said was “Freshmen, don’t rush to get out of here. Slow down and enjoy every minute with your friends, teammates and brothers. After this, whether you play professionally or get a job in the real world, everything becomes a business. You won’t ever have an atmosphere like this, where you are with your best friends every single day of the week, all working together towards the same goal with the same purpose in mind.” At the time, I was a freshmen thinking I knew everything in the world. I heard what he was saying, but didn’t really listen to his message. Five very short years later, I had been in and out of a couple NFL training camps, and now work as a financial analyst. I quickly realized what Jordy had said at my first ever team meeting in college was dead on. You may be on another team, either in the NFL or corporate world, but you don’t have the bond you have with your teammates in college. They start out as strangers, but quickly turn into lifelong friends.”

PJ Tobyansen – UCLA “The one bit of advice i would like to give to a current college Long Snapper is – enjoying the dedication to preparation. What I mean by that is of course every college longsnapper is dedicated to his craft of Long Snapping. But to understand truly why you are doing things, and to truly enjoy the process will carry these habits latter on in life – to make you truly successful weather you go pro in the NFL or pro in something else. Today I work in the movie business for Marvel – currently working on Iron Man 3. I would not be where I am today without the lessons Rubio taught me, and enjoying the dedication to preparation. As Rubio always says -Taking the time to do things properly – quality reps over quantity.  Practicing, staying late so you truly know the in and outs of your assignments or task.  Muscle memory – doing things the RIGHT WAY over and over and over so when it comes time to shine in a crunch situation you know that you are truly prepared and can truly enjoy the moment.(YOU DONT HAVE TO THINK) If you truly understand this and enjoy this and practice these keys. It will  truly make you successful and let you rise quicker in your career or later in life. Like today working at Marvel people always say I cant believe how young you are. well I owe my success to those hobbits I learned while long snapping in college and truly enjoying my dedication to my preparation. It works! If you dont enjoy it why do it? Only you can make things work. always enjoy what you are doing. Always have a smile on your face, enjoy the moment. (and you can because you do not have to think if you are ready or not)” 

Best of the Best


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