Daniel Osmer is used to being the smallest player on the football field. He's also used to making a big impact.
So when his Modesto Junior College teammates affectionately refer to him as "Little Daniel," the 5-foot-3, 155-pound long snapper from Atwater grins.
"It's how people know me," he said. "It's how it's always been on the football field, the little guy doing big things."
Osmer has been a spark plug for the Pirates, who take on Diablo Valley in a pivotal Golden Gate Conference matchup tonight at 7. In Modesto's final home game, it will try to be the only team standing with an undefeated league record.
In the Pirates' 56-13 victory over Hartnell to start conference play, Osmer got in the game late at running back and scored a 19-yard touchdown.
He carried the ball four times for 84 yards, darting through holes and making the Panther defenders tackle air in his wake.
Head coach Sam Young said Osmer has made his presence felt on special teams and is the back-up kicker and punter.
"His mental toughness is outstanding," Young said. "He can do lots of things, but he has such a specific job as long snapper, we're leery of him getting hurt. There would be nobody to replace him."
Osmer has always been a gamer. He played multiple positions on both sides of the ball at Buhach Colony. As a junior, Osmer ran for 134 yards on 23 carries, scoring two touchdowns. He also caught a scoring pass and intercepted two passes.
In his senior year, Osmer was the Thunder's top receiver with 18 receptions for 286 yards and six touchdowns. He also kicked four field goals, made 14 extra points and had running back and punt returning duties.
Osmer said he knew things would be different in college, but he hoped to crack into the running back rotation. He's happy with his season so far.
"Wherever they asked me to play, I gave it no second thought," Osmer said. "I thought I'd show my love for the game, be the go-to person and show what I could do."
A sixth-place state wrestler at 130 pounds, Osmer chose football over wrestling. Being a coach's son -- his father Eric Osmer is the Buhach Colony wrestling coach -- is one of the things Young said separates Osmer.
"You know he's going to know the game," Young said. "He knows how to be a good teammate. We're looking forward to having him next year."