By David Fong
TROY — Zach Schwausch may have dreamed about playing college football, but it wasn’t until later in his high school career that he began to believe that dream could indeed become a reality.
“I honestly didn’t think I would ever be a college football player,” said Schwausch, a senior football player at Troy High School. “But Coach (Matt) Burgbacher really helped me achieve that dream. At the start of my senior year, he came to me and told me a lot of college coaches had been in contact with him. If I had the opportunity, I figured I might as well take it.”
Friday, Schwausch made full use of that opportunity when he put pen to paper and signed his national letter of intent to attend school and play football at Capital University.
“It feels like home,” Schwausch said of Capital. “The atmosphere there was so friendly. I loved the football program and I really liked the coaches. Plus, they have my major, criminal justice.”
Schwausch was a versatile defender who played positions each of the last two seasons for the Trojans. As a junior, he was an inside linebacker who finished the season with 40 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He moved to defensive tackle as a senior, where he finished the season with 24 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
At Capital, Schwausch said he expects to move back to linebacker.
“They want me to play linebacker,” he said. “They said they are going to look at me at Mike (middle) linebacker. I’m over 200 pounds right now, so I’d be one of their bigger linebackers. I feel really good. I’ve been training and working a lot on my speed and quickness. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Burgbacher said he sees Schwausch fitting in well at Capital — and his work ethic will take him a long way in college.
“When I got this job three years ago, Zack was a 5-8, 5-9 kid who weighed about 130 pounds,” he said. “What he has done to transform himself into a football player is pretty incredible. One thing he has done is totally dedicate himself in the weightroom to building his body.
“I think he’s another kid whose best football is still ahead of him. We needed him on the defensive line last fall and he took on that role for us because that’s the kind of team player he is. I think when he goes to Capital and is able to focus on one position, he’s going to really excel at the next level.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong