Hometown: Glen Allen, Va
High School: Deep Run HS
Snyder came to Virginia as a 3-star recruit from all the recruiting services. He was ranked #20, #42 and #80 by Rivals, Scout and ESPN. Jake was recruited by the likes of Ohio State, Purdue and Colorado, as well as much of the ACC. Fans will recall that Jake's older brother Matt was a walk-on WR who earned a scholarship mostly by working his ass off. So, despite the offers from some top programs, Jake was UVA's to lose from the start. Jake also played TE in High School, although DE was always his intended position.
Snyder is one of two seniors on the DL this year, part of why fans think that unit could be the strength of the defense. Last year, Jake was 2nd on the team with 2.5 sacks and led the DL with 44 tackles. He also had 5.5 TFLs, 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered fumble.
While Jake might be the biggest DE on the team, he is no slouch in terms of athleticism. At 275ish pounds, he is still probably a 4.9 guy. Keeping in mind that 40 time has little value when evaluating D-Linemen, that's pretty quick for his size. Jake uses his size and good leverage to be a good run stopper. He is good at using his hands to shed blockers, and also has pretty advanced pass rush moves. He knocked down 4 passes last season, showing an ability to read the QB and get into passing lanes. Perhaps his biggest strength is his football IQ. Jake reads plays well and ends up in the right place. And when he gets there, he wraps up and makes tackles.
Because of the depth at DE, the staff will rotate as many as 6 guys throughout a game. Jake may find himself on the bench in passing situations, simply because we have more talented pass rushers. But Jake will be a big presence on earlier downs because of his stopping ability and football IQ. Now entering his 5th year in the program and 3rd year as a starter, he's also a team leader off the field.