SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The list of Vermonters who have played Division one college football is not a particularly long one, but South Burlington's Michel Bergeron is set to add his name to that list this fall.
"Once I really realized how hard it really was, it was something I really wanted to target because I knew I could do it,' Bergeron said.
Bergeron's journey to get to this point started at a young age.
"I started playing like in Elementary school, in flag football," Bergeron said. "I played center when I got to 5th grade."
But it was just over the past couple years that he began working on the skill that would lead him to a scholarship.
"When we combined with Burlington, the coaches were like, 'If you're gonna play center, you're also gonna be our longsnapper,"' Bergeron said. "It's very important that you have a spiral on the bal,l while at center, you don't really need to, and also you have to have your head down so you can see and hold the ball with two hands. And a lot of the times, you're not immediately blocking because they can't hit you until your head's up or you start making a move."
It wasn't long before Bergeron began to excel at his new task.
"Then they saw that I was pretty good, and they said, 'Hey, you should pursue this in college,' because they knew I wanted to play," he said.
Bergeron started small, but the response he saw allowed him to become a little more ambitious.
"I started sending it out to D3 schools, I got a lot of interest from that, so I started sending out to D2 schools, and they also had a lot of interest, so I tried some D1 schools," he said.
Bergeron had some FBS schools contact him about the opportunity to walk on, but ultimately he couldn't pass on a scholarship offer from FCS Delaware State.
"The culture that they have there is really like family oriented and also I like their travel schedule," Bergeron said. "They get to go up and down the East coast. And I honestly just thought that getting away from Vermont could be a little good for me."
Of course, there is still the question of whether Bergeron and his new squad are going to be able to play this season. Bergeron says Delaware State still hasn't made a final decision on whether they'll hold on-campus classes this Fall, and it has been difficult to prepare without access to training facilities.
"It was really hard at first because our weight program that we got was designed to be in a weight room, and for the last half of it we had to make our own things so we could lift weights like bench, squat," Bergeron said. "But our strength coach actually gave us in May a new workout, which is a lot of bodyweight stuff and I felt really good doing it."
Bergeron has been working out with his older brother Matt most mornings at SBHS, specifically to prepare himself for the increased speed of the game at the next level.
"Every point-one second matters," he said. "I've been trying to get my 15-yard snap down to 0.70, right now it's around 0.75."
And he is hoping that his success can help open a path for more Vermonters to make it onto D-I rosters.
"I've been looking to start training other long snappers from here and in the area just to help other people get to play college football at a high level, because I know that's what everyone wants to do," Bergeron said.
As of right now, the plan is for Bergeron to make his collegiate debut on Saturday, September 5th in Dover against Albany.