Anthony Zettel Draws Preseason All-Big Ten Honors
The accolades continue to pile up for Penn State’s defensive superstar, as Anthony Zettel was recently named to the preseason All-Big Ten Team.
This should, of course, come as a surprise to no one given the monster year Zettel enjoyed in 2014-15. The mammoth defensive lineman posted 42 total tackles, 17 for a loss, eight sacks, and three interceptions, placing him among the nation’s top defensive linemen. The honor of being selected to the preseason All-Big Ten list is just one of the numerous preseason accolades Zettel has garnered, as his name has also been cast into the Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi, and Outland Trophy watchlists for the upcoming season — and it’s plausible that, with another huge season, that Zettel could walk away with all three awards at the end of the season.
The only minor surprise from the All-Big Ten Team is that Zettel is the only Nittany Lion on it. DaeSean Hamilton, Austin Johnson, Jordan Lucas, Nyeem Wartman-White, Brandon Bell, and of course Christian Hackenberg all were likely considered for the honor, but were ultimately edged out.
With the additional hype comes increased focus on Zettel from opposing offensive coordinators, who will want no part of Zettel come game time. Zettel was fortunate last season after switching positions, as he flew low on the radars of opposing coordinators. This season, however, he will be the focal point, and should expect to see plenty of double teams and plays to the outside — far away from Zettel’s place on the interior.
All of the hype surrounding Penn State’s defensive anchor is warranted. Zettel has a chance to cement his status as one of the premier defenders in all of college football, and put his name atop draft boards across the NFL.
No. 98 will be certainly be a player to watch out for this year, and he won’t just be good. Anthony Zettel could be special in 2015-16.