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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Cleats, guitars and tripods: Everything you didn’t know about Kneeland Hibbett

CW/ Natalie Teat
Alabama long snapper Kneeland Hibbett (#48) in a huddle with his teammates before playing Arkansas on Oct. 14 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Whether you’ve spotted his name on the jumbotron of Bryant-Denny Stadium, scrolled through his TikTok account, or caught his band, Elmwood Jam, performing at a bar on the Strip, Alabama long snapper Kneeland Hibbett has made his presence known in various corners of Alabama’s campus.  

Hailing from Florence, Alabama, the junior communications major earned a starting position as a long snapper in his 2021 freshman season. Hibbett’s dreams, though, extend beyond college football; he also aspires to make a lasting impact in the NFL, and some could say it’s part of his legacy. 

His grandfather Dennis Homan played on the 1965 Alabama national championship team, later becoming an All-American in his senior year and first-round draft pick to the Dallas Cowboys.  

“That’s my dream and my ultimate goal, and everything I do is kind of not as much of a priority as that dream,” Hibbett said. “So going to the NFL is my No. 1 priority and the thing that I want to accomplish for myself.” 

Because of this star-studded connection, there are pictures of him as young as 4 years old outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium meeting the players. For Hibbett, his time at Alabama has been a dream come true.  

“It’s always been a dream to come play.” Hibbett said, “When I got the opportunity to walk on to long snap, I couldn’t pass up that offer.”  

While at Alabama, Hibbett has taken advantage of all his opportunities. He has been added to the watch list for the 2023 Patrick Mannelly Award, which has been given annually to the best long snapper in college football since 2019. He also uses his name, image and likeness deals to support causes close to his heart. 

Hibbett has pledged to donate his earnings to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which is   dedicated to finding a cure for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The debilitating disease leads to the death of nerve cells in the brain and currently afflicts Hibbett’s grandfather.  

“Kneeland wanted to do something to honor his granddad,” Missy Homan, Hibbett’s mother and Dennis Homan’s daughter, said in an interview with CBS 42. “Being on such a big stage, where the nation is watching … what an incredible stage to bring awareness to a disease that affects our family. Being on such a big stage, where the nation is watching … What an incredible stage to bring awareness to a disease that affects our family.” 

Not all his name, image and likeness opportunities have come directly from football, though; credit is also due to Hibbett’s TikTok presence, which has played a significant role in securing these deals.  

“I realized that TikTok would be a good way to also get NIL deals,” Hibbett said. “Because as a walk-on, it’s just kind of hard to come across NIL deals just through being a long snapper, not being the star player. So, it’s been very beneficial.” 

Hibbett has garnered over 400,000 followers and 22 million likes across various social media platforms. Launching his TikTok during his freshman year, he aimed to be more than another football player on social media and carve out his own identity, but the primary goal of his TikTok channel has been to spread joy and to make people smile. 

“I wanted it to be more along the lines of comedy,” Hibbett said. “I’ve always enjoyed putting smiles on people’s faces, making them laugh. And when I realized that people liked the content, it gave me the motivation to start growing it.” 

Hibbett’s first viral TikTok, where he hilariously coached a sorority basketball game, almost didn’t happen. He was initially hesitant after being asked but gave it a shot after encouragement from his girlfriend, Anna Conway, a junior at Alabama studying public relations. 

To his surprise, the video quickly amassed over a million views and garnered 200,000 likes overnight. This unexpected surge marked the inception of his most popular series, which has since accumulated over 56.2 million views. After the video went viral, he continued coaching the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.  

Hibbett also shares content on his social media platforms featuring his music and his band, Elmwood Jam, which plays a combination mainly of country and a few other genres.  

Music has been a lifelong interest of his, fostered by his upbringing surrounded by it. 

“I’ve had a lot of family members who have been really interested in music and who have done it really well,” Hibbett said. “Especially growing up around the Shoals, where so much music history is just right at your fingertips, I’ve just grown a passion for music.” 

His musical journey began in high school, where he used his talents to perform in local restaurants; in college, he found himself sharing the stage with other bands.  

The idea of his own band started last year when Hibbett approached lead guitarist Matt McCracken, a current freshman at Alabama studying consumer science.  

“This guy walked up to me, and I didn’t think much of it, but he was like, ‘Hey, this is my number; I’m going to start a band next year, and I’m going to give you a call,'” McCracken said.  

Hibbett already had a drummer on board in the form of Alabama running back Jonathan Bennett and wanted McCracken’s assistance in finding a bass player.  

Fortunately, McCracken knew just the right person: Berkley Young, a high school student from Tuscaloosa. The ensemble now comprised McCracken, Young, Hibbett and Bennett — Elmwood Jam. 

Under Hibbett’s leadership, the band has graced venues like Moe’s Original BBQ and the Rabbit Hole. Despite Hibbett’s demanding schedule with football practices and games, he remains dedicated to giving his all to his bandmates. 

“I think his passion for it probably is what helps him,” Young said. “I think he makes the moments where he can do it really count. So, he might not be able to do it as much, but when he does, when he can, he gets stuff done.”  

Hibbett said he could see a future in music, but still wants to keep his priorities straight.  

“I think a music career would be super fun,” Hibbett said. “But for now, I’m more focused on having a football career or sports media career, but music will always be a passion of mine.” 

His commitment to quality over quantity is evident in every pursuit. Whether on the football field, crafting TikTok content, or performing with Elmwood Jam, Hibbett advises fellow athletes to find something they’re passionate about and pursue it with dedication. 

“Find something you’re passionate about and do it to the best of your ability,” Hibbett said. “My biggest thing was, and even learning this from coach Saban, regardless of what you do, do it to the best of your ability to be able to do it at a high level. So, whether that be music, making content, anything that I do, I want to do it at a high level.” 

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