Willie Snead IV

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Willie Snead IV
No. 83 – New Orleans Saints
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1992-10-17) October 17, 1992 (age 25)
Winter Park, Florida
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Muskegon Heights (MI)
College: Ball State
Undrafted: 2014
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2017
Receptions: 149
Receiving yards: 1,971
Receiving touchdowns: 7
TD/INT: 1-0
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Willie Lee Snead IV (born October 17, 1992) is an American football wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played college football at Ball State.[1]

High school career[edit]

Snead played his freshman year at Glade Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida. The Snead family then moved to Michigan where his father, Willie Snead III, had taken the head coaching job at Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan. Holland Christian went 14-0 in 2008 winning the state championship. Snead, as a sophomore, was one of the top receivers on the team with 35 receptions, 543 receiving yards, and 5 touchdowns.[2]

Another move to Muskegon took Snead to Muskegon Heights High School where he would play his final two years of high school football. His senior year, Snead was named Michigan Division 5-6 Player of the Year by the Associated Press.[3] At Muskegon Heights, Snead played quarterback and in his senior year he threw for 2,200 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception. He rushed for an additional 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. Snead also played defense as a linebacker and safety with one interception and 76 tackles.[4]

College career[edit]

2011 season[edit]

Snead started four games for the Ball State Cardinals in 2011. In his first start, Snead recorded 180 receiving yards, which is the 11th-best for a single game in Ball State history, and a touchdown against Army.[1] His first career reception came at South Florida and his first career touchdown catch came against Buffalo. Ball State finished the season 6-6 with another win over Army 48-21 and notable losses to #22 South Florida and #2 Oklahoma. Snead finished his freshman season with 327 receiving yards and 2 touchdown catches.[5]

2012 season[edit]

In the 2012 season, Snead started in 12 games and played in all 13 games. At the end of the 2012 season, Snead was tied for third on Ball State's single season receptions and third for single season receiving yards. In his sophomore season, Snead ended the year 25th in the nation on receiving yards per game averaging 88 yards per game. He finished the season with 89 receptions, 1,148 receiving yards, and 9 touchdowns. His 9 touchdown catches gave him the 6th best single-season record in Ball State history.[1]

The Ball State Cardinals finished the 2012 season 9-3 with important wins over #25 Toledo 34-27, the then Big East’s South Florida 31-27 and, for a second year in a row, the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers 41-39. The three regular season losses came to the #12 Clemson Tigers, Kent State, and Northern Illinois. Both Kent State and Northern Illinois went on to be ranked in the Top 25. Snead started for Ball State in the 2012 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl game in St. Petersburg, Florida where they were defeated by the Central Florida Golden Knights 38-17.[1]

2013 season[edit]

Snead helped quarterback Keith Wenning and head coach Pete Lembo led the Cardinals to another successful season, finishing bowl eligible for the third consecutive year with a 10-3 record. Snead had 100+ receiving yards in 9 games, a school record, and tied with Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews for the most such games that year. He also finished the season with 106 receptions for 1,516 yards and 15 touchdowns, setting the Ball State single-season receiving record in all three categories.[6][1] Those totals also ranked him tied for 7th, 3rd, and tied for 3rd respectively among all college football players that season.[7]

Snead bypassed his senior season to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.[8][9]

College statistics[edit]

Snead ranks second in Ball State history with 2,991 receiving yards (to Dante Ridgeway's 3,030) and 26 receiving touchdowns (to Darius Hill's 31), and third in receptions with 223. He and Ridgeway are the only two players in Ball State history to have two 1,000 yard receiving seasons, and his 13 games with 100+ yards receiving is a school record.[1]


  • Selected as a Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist in 2012 & 2013[10]
  • 2012 All-MAC First Team Offense
  • 2013 All-MAC First Team Offense[11]
  • 2013 Honorable Mention WR All-American by Sports Illustrated[12]

Professional career[edit]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Snead went undrafted in 2014, but he quickly signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns.[13] Snead gave a strong showing during the Browns training camp and secured playing time in the preseason games.[14] In the Browns second preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Snead pulled down two passes from Johnny Manziel, but both passes were called back due to penalties called on other players. His first true reception came on a 15-yard pass from Connor Shaw. Snead finished the game with 3 receptions for 29 yards. At the end of the game, Snead also tipped a Hail Mary pass into the hands of tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi. Snead made the final round of cuts with the Browns before being released by the team.

Carolina Panthers[edit]

After an unsuccessful tryout with the New York Giants, Snead signed with the Carolina Panthers practice squad on September 23, 2014.[15]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

2014 season[edit]

Snead became a member of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on December 11, 2014.[16] He finished the 2014 season having spent time with three teams, but without appearing in any regular season games.

2015 season[edit]

Snead had a strong training camp in 2015 and made the final 53-man roster. His play drew favorable comparisons to former Saint wide receiver Lance Moore,[17] and earned him a starting position for the last 9 games of the season. He had two 100+ yard games (6 receptions for 141 yards in a Week 5 loss at Philadelphia, and 7 receptions for 122 yards in a Week 13 win over Tampa Bay) and finished his first year in the NFL with 69 catches for 984 yards (second on the team to Brandin Cooks's 1,138) and three touchdowns.[18] Both receptions and receiving yards are NFL records for an undrafted rookie.[19]

2016 season[edit]

Snead began the 2016 season as the Saints number two receiver. During a Week 1 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Snead caught nine passes for a career-best 172 yards and a touchdown, combining with teammates Cooks and Michael Thomas for 373 receiving yards, the most ever by a New Orleans trio in a loss.[20] In Week 12, he completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to running back Tim Hightower off a lateral against the Los Angeles Rams, the longest touchdown pass by an NFL wide receiver since Mohamed Sanu did so for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012, and the first ever by a New Orleans wide receiver. Snead finished the season with 72 receptions for 895 yards and four touchdowns. His 69.2% catch rate was eighteenth among NFL wide receivers.[21]

2017 season[edit]

On September 1, 2017, Snead was suspended after crashing into a parked car and failing a breathalyzer test.[22] He was originally suspended for four games, but was reduced to three after an appeal.[23] In the six games following his return, Snead recorded just one reception, and muffed a punt leading to Tampa Bay's only touchdown in a Week 9 30–10 victory.[24]

Personal life[edit]

His father, Willie Snead III,[25] played wide receiver at Virginia and Florida and was drafted by the New York Jets in the 12th round of the 1989 NFL Draft with the 321st overall pick.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Player Profile". Ball State Athletics. Ball State Athletics. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Player profile". Maxpreps.com. Maxpreps.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Mattson, Mike. "Muskegon Heights' Willie Snead IV named state's top football player in Divisions 5-6, three other locals earn all-state honors". Muskegon Chronicle. mlive.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Beiswanger, Bert. "Ball State's Willie Snead: Big Willie Style". kentsterling.com. kentsterling.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Player Profile". ESPN.com. ESPN.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Records Fall in 55-14 Football Victory over Miami". Ball State Athletics. Ball State Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "2013 Leaders". Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Ball State receiver Willie Snead to enter NFL draft". 
  9. ^ "Ball State's Willie Snead will bypass senior season for NFL draft". 
  10. ^ "Biletnikoff Award Announces 2013 Semifinalists". biletnikoffaward.com. biletnikoffaward.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ Scheessele, Keith. "2013 All-MAC Teams Announced, Huskies Lead the Way". SB Nation. hustlebelt.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ By SI.com staff. "College Football All America Team". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ Vance, Bryan. "Ball State's Willie Snead Signed By Cleveland Browns". hustlebelt.com. hustlebelt.com. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lyndall, Craig. "Willie Snead and the elusive undrafted starter". waitingfornextyear.com. waitingfornextyear.com. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ex-Cardinal Snead signs with Panthers". www.thestarpress.com. A Gannett Company. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Breiner, Ben. "Ball State's Snead makes Saints practice squad". www.thestarpress.com. Gannett. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Saints WR Willie Snead proving teams made mistake by passing on him in 2014 draft". 
  18. ^ "Pro Football Reference Query Results". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  19. ^ They are, however, second to undrafted rookie Bill Groman's 1,473 receiving yards in 1960 for the AFL's Houston Oilers. See PFR list
  20. ^ "Saints' speedy receivers shred Raiders defenders in loss". 
  21. ^ "Willie Snead Advanced Stats and Metrics Profile: Catch Rate". PlayerProfiler.com. 
  22. ^ Triplett, Mike. "Saints' Snead suspended 3 games after DUI". ESPN.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  23. ^ Sessler, Marc (September 1, 2017). "Saints' Willie Snead suspended three games by NFL". NFL.com. 
  24. ^ Willie Snead, Game log
  25. ^ Breiner, Ben (November 25, 2013). "The son of a coach, football is in Willie Snead IV's blood". indystar.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Draft History". NFL.com. NFL.com. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]