|Ht / Wt:||5'11" / 223 lb.|
|College:||South Dakota State|
|Born:||September 13, 1991|
|Drafted:||2015 / UDFA|
Zach Zenner was born September 13, 1991 in Eagan Minnesota. Zenner developed his football skills due a series of school coaches who set the foundation for his elite game play. Sports is a family affair in the Zenner clan. Family encouraged him to have a strong work ethic. High school highlights list as finalist for the Minnesota Mr. Football Award averaging 8.9 years for Eagan High School. Honored on all-state teams, he tallied 1,181 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 122 receiving yards which earned him an all-metro honor from the Associated Press.
The trend of hard work and success continued in Zenner’s college career at South Dakota State. A university known for its high training of athletes, it produced several NFL draft picks. A first running back, Zach rushed for 2,000 yards for three seasons straight. His SDSU career resulted in 61 touchdowns, 1095 carries, and 6,548 yards plus 95 receptions and eight touchdowns. His three time Walter Payton Award cinched him in football annuals. His consistency ranked high as game after game he performed near professional level.
When 2015 draft began rookie Zenner listed as a full back with a grade of 5.32. Described as an unknown player from a smaller school his stats got him a 5th or 6th round pick. Scouts checked Zach’s ability on the field against large schools and his stats remained nearly the same. Professional scouters did not see Zenner as a fullback. No one called. After the draft the Detroit Lions called. Zenner signed as a free agent but not as a fullback. Instead the Detroit Lions made him a running back. Combine results were 41 inch vertical jump, 40 time at 4.6 seconds,4.3 seconds in the 20-yard short shuttle, and three cone drill came in at 6.88 seconds.
In his debut, number 34 jersey, Zenner immediately carried 2 for six yards at the San Diego game week 1. He made contributions in the Minnesota game immediately following. Two carries for nine yards in the Seattle game in the 4th week. Week 6 against Chicago he increased to three carries for 15 yards but became seriously injured. By October 20th he was placed on the reserve/injured list with a collapsed lung and broken ribs.
Despite the injuries Zenner came back with a strong finish in 2016 totaling 311 yards with 3 touchdowns. When Riddick became injured, Zenner stepped up to the plate to give strength to the last 4 games. Detroit Lions needed a stronger running game and Zenner offers that. The team officials have yet to determine if Zenner can do that level of football continuously. In 2016 he earned a base salary of $525,000 as part of a three year contract.
Not only does Zenner rank well as a football player the man is a scholar. He spends his off season at a hospital doing a study ultra-sounding how salt and fructose impact hypertension levels on rat. A biology major at SDSU he simply put off enrolling to medical school since his NFL career blossomed. He runs a football camp for kids during the off season that has his name. He recently married in 2016 his lovely wife Ashely. Follow Zach on his Twitter handle [email protected]