home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 17, 2015

Anthony Zettel

University Park, Pennsylvania

Q. Anthony, you're one of six players, I think it is, who played in 2011 under Joe Paterno. This is your last game coming up. I'm just kind of curious, going back to 2011, how much of a factor was Joe Paterno and your commitment, and just what has your career been like going through five coaches and the interims in five years? That's probably not what you expected probably.
ANTHONY ZETTEL: We came to Penn State because this was the most solidified program in the country. You knew what you were going to get when you came here. Things happened, you know. I came here -- I didn't come here because Coach Paterno strictly. It was a little bit of an extra. I knew he was 80-some years old when he came here and wasn't going to be here my whole career. It wasn't surprising.

At the same time, I came here for the guys in the locker room, the guys on the team, the guys that you go to battle with every day. So when the sanctions and stuff hit and everybody had a choice to leave, it really was a point where there's very few teams in the country that could have done what we did, and most of the guys stayed. That's just the kind of guys that came from that locker room, and that basically made my decision coming here, just made it more real, just those guys are the type of guys that stayed.

It was everything I thought. I wouldn't change anything going back the last five years. I wouldn't change a thing just because it made our program stronger. The guys, the coaches and everybody tougher too.

Q. Anthony, James talked about the trust the team had to build with the coaching staff after so much disruption in the program. Do you have that trust now? And what was that moment for you when things sort of clicked with this staff?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: Any time a new staff comes in, they've got to earn your trust. You've got to earn their trust. As players, they can watch film and know the type of player we are, but they don't know the type of person we are. Just that trust factor is huge.

I've got to trust that Coach Shoop is going to call the right play, and he's got to trust I'm going to run the right play. The same with my teammates. When Coach first came in, we'd already had a couple of coaches. So there was a wall between some players and coaches that we had to get down. I think we did over the last year and a half with Coach Franklin. I think he's done a great job.

And also all of his assistant coaches have done a tremendous job at breaking that wall down and kind of just being more down to earth guys with us and treat us like men and keep that trust factor just because, really basically, when the game's on the line fourth quarter, do you trust the person or not? That's basically what it comes down to.

Q. Do you remember that moment when you thought you kind of knew the wall was down for good?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: It wasn't a certain moment. Just the off-season workouts and the bonds you build over time. Those relationships are built over time. In a split second, they can get destroyed, but at the same time, our coach has done a tremendous job of keeping everybody together, everybody on the same mission.

Q. Anthony, what would beating Michigan and finish undefeated at home, how would that fit the piece of the puzzle here with continuing to grow the program?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: It would mean everything. Coming from Michigan, I'm not saying I have a little hate, but just a little competition factor, just from Michigan State and Michigan are both great teams. And then they're also in the Big Ten too. So that's a Big Ten win.

I think just from being a competitive person, I always want to go home with that win, not for bragging rights, but just kind of just to for everybody to know that we beat them.

Also, Penn State's a huge program, so are they. So just two big programs coming together and clashing and going to war, it's going to be a phenomenal game.

Q. Do you have much of a sense of the great defensive tackles who preceded you? Who are the ones you kind of looked up to here?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: Coming in, I always liked watching like Odrick and them, watch how he played. I feel like that's the kind of guy I could play like a little bit. And then also just, when I got here, watching Jordan Hill and Devon Still, Jordan Hill and DaQuan Jones, those guys are great tandems that are successful now in the NFL and stuff.

So I think just consistently respecting what came before me and after has made me and A.J. definitely, hopefully, into one of those great tandems that Penn State has had. I think we're up there with the best. I'm being biased, but I think we might be the best. I don't know about that.

Q. Anthony, what is your favorite moment with Joe Paterno, and also what has been the favorite moment to your career so far at Penn State?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: Watching that 409 win against Illinois when they missed that field goal. That was with Coach Paterno. That was the biggest game I remember. And what was the next question?

Q. Overall best moment of your career, most memorable part of your career so far.
ANTHONY ZETTEL: For a particular moment, it was probably the interception, pick six versus Ohio State, how it just changed the game. I think just from an overall team win, when we went to Wisconsin -- no. Probably the four overtime against Michigan. That was the best moment.

We've had a lot of great moments here, team wins that really made your -- change your life when you look back at it.

Q. Any luck on getting that lion cub for Saturday?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: I threw the idea out there. I don't know if it's happening or not.

Q. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
ANTHONY ZETTEL: That would be cool.

Q. What's maybe one or two things that we don't know or that we don't see about Christian because I know we've seen the videos of you guys golfing together and you kind of ripping on him pretty hard. What are some of the things we don't see or don't know about Christian?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: He loves outdoors. He loves hunting. He loves just chilling, having a good time person to person. He's a good person to talk to. He's a good listener. There's a lot of things, like those kinds of things you don't see. Those are like little things that people don't know about him. He's a really good dude.

Q. And have you gone hunting or fishing with him? Is?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: I haven't. I can't go on a deer hunt because I talk too much. I went when I was like 9, and they said they'd never take me again. So I never went again.

I like fishing. We've fished a little bit at his grandpa's place. We'll probably go fishing trips later in our future and career.

Q. Anthony, have you thought about how emotional it's going to be in that tunnel? Who do you think is going to be the most emotional? Because typically some guys are a little bit more crying and that sort of thing than others.
ANTHONY ZETTEL: From emotional, like crying perspective, I don't know. Everybody kind of handles it different. I try to be more inner. It's all within myself. Try not to cry too much even though I cry in some movies. King Kong is the saddest movie ever at the end.

Anyways, yeah, just emotional standpoint, I think there's a lot -- just it's the last game at Beaver Stadium. These fans, this community, Beaver Stadium itself, it's unbelievably a great experience. You can't take it back. I'll remember this the rest of my life, the moments walking out of the tunnel with my teammates, and then just the locker room times, just all the relationships you have with these guys, coaches, and everything. You'll just never forget them.

I think just the whole grand experience I've had at Penn State kind of coming down to the last game is emotional. I know everybody on our team, even the younger guys, get emotional for a big game like this. You get the butterflies and stuff.

Q. Anthony, with everything you've been through this year, how has Sean Spencer stepped in and stepped up for you?
ANTHONY ZETTEL: He does a tremendous job rotating us, keeping us fresh. He always -- me and Coach Spencer are really close. Like he's kind of like my dad. Like just I can talk to him about anything. So we're really close as a coach and as just a friend. So when I'm playing for him, I know I can trust him and stuff. He's made the wild dogs really just better overall group, more depth, bring the energy to every game. That's kind of the mindset we have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297