AVON LAKE — Zack Zamiska had a junior season to build on, landing first-team All-Lorain County and All-Southwestern Conference honors in football.
However, that wasn’t nearly enough for the Avon Lake defensive tackle, who was gearing up to make a splash in the college recruiting process. So, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior-to-be took part in a few combine-style events to help get his name out there.
The biggest one of the four he participated in over the last month was the National Underclassmen Combine in Cincinnati. For that one, players have to get special invites to participate. Zamiska also took part in combines in the Toledo area and on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Pitt is one of the schools that are on Zamiska’s radar.
“The top 100 prospects in Ohio were invited to participate in the National Underclassmen one,” said Zamiska, who said athletes are put through one-on-one and individual drills that help college coaches and recruiters measure certain abilities.
“You do a couple of agility drills and then you do one-and-one drills against the offensive line and some pass rushing drills. Hand-work, agility and speed are the drills that you do by yourself. Some of its comparable (to the NFL Combine), but, of course, some of it is toned down.
“How good I am with my hands, my quickness with the pro shuttle, how good I am at cutting are the attributes you want to come across at these combines. It’s how agile you are for defensive linemen — for any position, for that matter. That’s the top thing you want to come across.”
Zamiska said that Pitt, West Virginia, Toledo and Bowling Green are the schools that seem to be the most interested in him, and those are the schools that he is also most interested in attending.
“I went to those combines in those areas for a reason,” he said.
Zamiska said that some schools send their teams up to the combines all at once. However, this is something he’s been going at alone with the help of his family.
He did say that Avon Lake’s reputation for not only strong defensive play, but also advancing football players to the collegiate level has helped.
“(The combines) get your name out there,” he said. “In my opinion, I think they’re a good thing to go to if you want to go to college at a Division I level. The exposure is very good from this.
“I’ve been wanting to play at a D-I college since the fourth grade. (Avon Lake has) a better reputation than most schools and that certainly hasn’t hurt me in either regard.”
Zamiska doesn’t have a definite timetable for when he wants to settle on a college, only that it’s finalized before his senior season ends.
“I hope to have it at least before the end of the season, if not before the season begins,” he said. “I hope to have it finalized before the end so I can concentrate on football and then the rest of my senior season. It would mean a lot to play collegiate football, and I’m hopeful these combines will help.”
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.