In a split second, teenager Logan Rager parlayed his passion for football into a successful business, a licensing deal and acceptance into an Ivy League school.
Rager, who was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 high school player in the class of 2022, ended his high school career as part of Bergen Catholic’s undefeated team last fall. He accepted an offer to continue his football career at Princeton.
Rager started a business this year called elite LSL, and it trains players from fourth grade through college how to accurately catch a tackler or tackler in less than a second.
“When my high school career was over, I knew I wanted to do something else to get involved long,” said Rager, who will celebrate his 19th birthday in August. “I wanted to make a long business out of it.”
With greater emphasis placed on special teams from high school, to college, to the NFL, elite snappers are now coveted. In the NFL, a long punter, on the field for about 6 to 12 plays a game for punts, field goals and extra points, can make more than $1 million a year.
Rager wants to get into the NFL. His “LSL” stands for “Long Snapping Logan,” and the 6-foot, 205-pounder from Secaucus coaches about 20 players in Franklin Lakes, Fairfield and Middletown.
His credentials make him a sought-after instructor: He can kick a 15-yarder to a player in 0.62 seconds, give or take a hundredth of a second, and that’s better than almost any colleague. He helped Bergen Catholic to a 12-0 season and was voted the top high school player in the class of 2022 by Rubio Long Snapping, a top position coach.
Rager’s students, many of whom are considered undersized for football, are mostly junior high and high school students with aspirations of playing high school football, or high school seniors with dreams of playing in college. .
“We live in a country where if you have good grades and can bend over and throw a ball through your legs, you can go to Princeton,” said Rager, who had a 4.3 grade point average at Bergen Catholic and was accurate in 136 of his college photos. “And I want to give those same opportunities to kids who maybe never thought playing college football was possible.”
Joe Cortese, a junior at Indian Hills, has taken about 20 lessons with Rager and says he’s made dramatic improvements. So much so that the 5-foot-5, 165-pound Cortese believes he can make it long at the college level.
“I’ve progressed so much since I started working with him and my confidence has gone through the roof,” Cortese said. “I 100 percent believe I can go to the next level.”
Although Cortese is expected to grow a few inches and put on more weight, he knows the long snap and grades are his path to playing in college.
“As much as I’m a football player, I know my size doesn’t give me much of an advantage to play linebacker or to return to the next level,” Cortese said. “Long innings have given me the ability to play at the next level. And that’s why I do it – because I love football and I want to keep playing.”
Rager started snapping in the sixth grade and attended special teams tackle camps, where he eventually became an instructor. One of the biggest challenges he learned to overcome is what he calls “Centeritis.” This is to teach, and now teach, players to overcome the dominance of the first hand. For example, right-handed catchers have a tendency to catch the ball too far left. The righty helps to overcome it by shooting the ball with the left hand.
“There’s a real science to it, and I’ve developed a passion for it [teaching] because of the reaction of the kids’ faces to the kind of photos they were getting in just one lesson,” Rager said.
Rager signed an apparel and accessories deal with Fuzion, a custom apparel company. Rager receives a royalty on sales of LSL Elite items such as shirts, hats, sweatshirts and water bottles. He made a connection with Fuzion through a family friend.
“I never in a million years thought I’d have a clothing line,” Rager said.
We should not be so surprised. Rager wants to major in economics at Princeton, while also taking courses in finance and entrepreneurship. He is interested in real estate and likes the credo “Buy low and sell high”.
Rager’s father, David, is in the internet marketing business and proud of his son’s initiative. Dad also likes to attend Logan’s training sessions because “This will be my last summer with him” before he goes off to college.
“One of the things as a parent is you want to teach your kids different things, and one of the things they don’t teach you in school is business,” David Rager said. “And we thought that would be a great learning experience.”
Rager learned how to be a very good student, and now he is learning how to be an instructor and businessman. And what he preaches to his students the most is to be a very good student. Good grades, along with the ability to put in long work, will attract colleges. He could eventually attract the NFL, which draws about half of its long snappers from non-Power Five conferences.
“My biggest piece of advice for any major in the country is ‘Get an education,'” Rager said, “because the NFL is going to find you.”