Zettel named No. 3 freak in college football
Anthony Zettel earned himself some more preseason attention. Fittingly, the freakish Penn State defensive tackle landed on a list of freaks, but in a good way.
On Fox Sports college football writer Bruce Feldman’s list of the top 25 freaks in college football, Zettel came in at No. 3.
It’s hard to argue with that, considering the former defensive end does things like roundhouse kicks and tree-tackling. According to Feldman, Zettel is also an ace golfer. Right, because that’s what all linemen do for fun.
Here’s Feldman’s entire take on the leader of the Penn State defense:
3. Anthony Zettel, Penn State, DT: Like most guys on this list, this is a terrific football player. The 6-4, 281-pound Zettel made first-team All-Big Ten selected by both coaches and media, and led the team in TFLs (17), sacks (8) and INTs (3). Zettel is a beast in the weight room. He set school records in the hang clean (425) and the power clean (390). That stuff got him on this list, but it’s all of this other head-turning stuff that gets him on the top five.
As a high schooler in Michigan, Zettel set the state record in the shot put with a throw of 61 feet, 8 inches. Some of Zettel’s other eye-popping exploits can be seen on video. Like:
–How he can hit a golf ball 380 yards off the tee. A 10-handicapper, Zettel said that after football he might try entering some Long Drive contests. He credits his shot-putting background. “I just have a lot of torque and hip rotation,” he says. “I don’t have a lot of flexibility in my shoulders, but I can really get my hips around.”
–How he can throw a football 75-yards plus. With no wind. “On a good throw, maybe 80 (yards),” he says, adding that his fastball has been clocked at 92 mph. “I always had a good arm. I was a good pitcher. Baseball was my best sport.” Zettel says he can even throw a football farther than his pal, Christian Hackenberg, Penn State’s strong-armed QB. “I can throw it farther,” Zettel says. “He can throw it more accurate. He knows I can throw it farther, but he’s close.”
–How the aspiring MMA fighter (he’s been training three or four days a week during the offseason for the past three years with Bruce Lombard) can do a roundhouse kick and in this case almost decapitate a teammate with a full bottle of water.
–How he once tackled a tree and brought it to the ground. “We were out getting firewood,” he said. “There was a dead tree. I just decided to tackle it. It wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve done. Luckily, I didn’t get injured. I wouldn’t do it again.”