Nicknames: Friends call him "ZZ" and his grandfather called him "ZZ Top" as a kid.

Back of the line: A last name starting with the letter "Z" meant never going first. "Any seating chart, just go to the back," Zach joked.

Sports genes: His father, Jim, played football at Division III powerhouse Mount Union. His mother, Heather, played Division I volleyball at Southern Illinois.

Getting started: Born in Decatur, Ill., he moved to Woodbury in fifth grade. A year earlier, Zach started playing football.

Quote: "He tackled kids bigger than him and was jumping up and down," Jim said. "I said, 'Well, I guess he's going to love football.' "

Hoops, too: Zach is also the point guard for East Ridge's basketball team. He's attracted college interest for his play in both sports.

David La Vaque