Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Long snapper Matt Overton lives by 'stay ready' motto, joins Chargers and thanks God

You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready. That’s the motto Matt Overton has lived by since his first foray into NFL free agency in 2017.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

It was no different this offseason for the former Pro Bowl long snapper, yet again experiencing free agency. He spent his time working out, snapping balls to goalposts as practice, hosting free clinics for college and high school long snappers, and continuing to work his real estate business.

He didn’t know if or when he’d get another chance to play in the NFL, but if he did, he was going to be ready. He even turned the motto into a merchandise brand.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers gave him that chance by signing him to their preseason roster.

“I learned quickly in this business a long time ago, that call can come at any time when you least expect it and you go somewhere you least expect to go to,” Overton told Sports Spectrum this week. “That’s always been the case for me in my career. I always told myself that, ‘Hey, whether the call comes tomorrow or three months down the road, I just always need to stay sharp, stay ready, and stay prepared.'”

Overton played for the Tennessee Titans during the 2020 season, and he and his wife, Breanna, made Nashville their home last fall, right around the time he was pursuing a full-time real estate career on top of his football career.

Earlier this year, he and Breanna welcomed their first child, a daughter, into their life as well. With roots planted in Nashville, he was hopeful he’d get to return in his role with the Titans, but that never came to fruition. By joining the Chargers, however, it takes him closer to his hometown of San Leandro, California, and closer to his family.

He also rejoins a team he played for briefly in 2019.

“I know ideally we wanted to stay home, but it is pretty cool to be able to go disciple somewhere else and be in a new locker room around a new team,” Overton said. “For me personally, I always wanted to be closer to my family on the West Coast. That’s a huge blessing in itself.”

He knows logistically it’ll be a challenge with his wife and young child back home in Nashville, but right now he knows he just has to take it one day at a time. NFL rosters are still being finalized, so he’s just trying to handle each day and make the roster first.

“It’s hard, obviously. It makes things a little more difficult with a baby, and puppy, and a wife back home,” he said. “Real estate, that’s always been, for me, a part of a team that can pick up my reins if I need to step away for a while. That’s never been a concern. I’ve just always been very transparent with who I work with in real estate and let them know this what I’m preparing for. … I’ve always had the support from my real estate team back in Indy and in Nashville.

“My main role and concern is family, and my baby and my wife, so that’s really hard this time to leave, just because that’s my whole world right now.”

Overton will make his debut with the Chargers on Sunday in a preseason game versus the San Francisco 49ers. His hope is to make the team out of the preseason and stick with the Chargers all year. He knows how hard it is to make it in the NFL, and he said as an older player — he’s 36 — it’s even harder to get back on a roster once you’ve been a free agent.

But whatever happens, his plan remains the same: stay ready.

“It’s kind of a daily reminder to stay ready in my faith, because God, He’ll give and take at any moment, so you’ve just got to be armored up and you’ve got to stay prepared,” Overton said. “If the door opens or closes, just know that God is doing it for a reason.”

Overton shared more about his faith journey when he joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in July.

RELATED STORIES:
— Titans veteran long snapper Matt Overton finding joy in real estate venture
— Tim Tebow ‘thankful for highs and lows,’ cites Romans 8:28 as Jaguars release him
— Colts rookie QB Sam Ehlinger finding peace in God as he grieves brother’s death
— NEW PODCAST: Carson Tinker, NFL Long Snapper
— Former NFL player Harry Swayne reflects on giving life to Christ in Super Bowl tunnel