Few players from the early days of the James Franklin Era made a bigger impact more consistently than defensive lineman Anthony Zettel. After a strong 2014 and 2015 season with the Nittany Lions, Zettel was a 6th round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Zettel finished his Penn State career with 119 tackles, 38 tackles for a loss, 20 sacks, 14 pass breakups, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. He also scored a touchdown on a pick-six in front of a White Out crowd in 2014 when the Nittany Lions should have upset the eventual national champion Buckeyes, but Big Ten officiating made sure that did not happen.
In the NFL Zettel would play in 50 games in his five-year career. This included starting all 16 games for the Lions in 2017 when he had a career best seasons, posting 6.5 sacks and 16 QB hits. He would reach Super Bowl 54 with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2019 season.
Zettel last played in 2020 when he appeared in one game for the New Orleans Saints. He officially retired from the NFL last August after he had signed a one-year contract to return to the 49ers.