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Only Zach Zwinak Until Penn State Football

Eric Francis

Zach Zwinak was either the #1 or #2 fullback in the nation when he enrolled at Penn State in the spring of 2010. A four-star recruit out of Linganore High School near Frederick, MD, he was being courted nationally by everyone from Ohio State to Cal to Virginia Tech (#elite). It speaks to the current state of fullbacks in the game, as well as Penn State's lack of true depth at that time, that he emerged midseason in 2012 as a true threat at the running back position.

After injuries to Bill Belton and Derek Day, then-coach Bill O'Brien had little choice but to thrust Zwinak into the starting role midway through his first season, and the ginger delivered. Over half of his thousand yards in his redshirt sophomore season came in the month of November, and he averaged 4.9 yards on 203 attempts for the season.

Issues with holding onto the ball, and an apparent aversion to gloves, led to more split time with Belton in 2013. Zwinak still racked up 989 yards on 210 carries his junior year, though, including this absolute beauty--which came, naturally, after tWWL's assurances that Zwinak would wear you down with his strength but couldn't beat you with his speed:

This year, coach James Franklin still must split time between Belton and Zwinak, both of whom have clear strengths and who are both named to the Doak Walker watch list for the nation's best running back.