The transition from the diamond to the gridiron was far from seamless but ultimately for Zach Von Rosenberg it’s a decision he’s glad he made.
The 28-year-old Von Rosenberg was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 and played minor league baseball. However, a slew of injuries (hamstring, shoulder, fingers) forced him to retire.
“Every time I felt like I was getting momentum and getting better and starting to play well, something would happen,” Von Rosenberg said to The Advocate.
In 2016, Von Rosenberg walked on to the LSU football team with no expectations. He just wanted the chance to be a Tiger.
Von Rosenberg initially had plans to play quarterback. However, he soon learned that he wasn’t suited for the position.
More punting stats: Zach Von Rosenberg posted a 43.9 net punting average during the regular season.
That’s No. 3 in the nation.
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) December 13, 2018
“It was kind of (a decision made by) Cam Cameron at the time and myself,” Von Rosenberg said to The Advocate. “It was overwhelming to learn the playbook. I was just like ‘OK I don’t know if I can do this. With the reads and all the things that this position requires.’ ”
Then Von Rosenberg packed on 40 pounds and gave it a shot at tight end to mixed results.
Finally, the third time was a charm as Von Rosenberg lost more than half of that acquired weight since he didn’t want to get “beat down” anymore, so he pounced on the chance to become a punter.
Von Rosenberg already had experience as a punter at Zachary High School.
“Walking across campus when I was 257, it was like ‘oh my God’,” Von Rosenberg said to The Advocate. “I remember walking across campus, and I was out of breath after a lift. I barely could focus in class. I just remember being miserable, like I couldn’t wait to lose all that weight. I did, but it was a grind to get there and a grind to get it off.”
Von Rosenberg found the ideal position that reduces the possibility of debilitating injuries.
“Guys are diving into you, trying to block your punt and hurt your plant leg,” Von Rosenberg said to The Advocate. “But it’s very unlikely you get injured unless you’ve done something pretty stupid to yourself.”
Yet Von Rosenberg has still had some minor nagging injuries in his redshirt season at LSU, which he’s had to “fight and grind” through. Ultimately, it’s all paid off as Von Rosenberg has averaged 44.5 yards per punt en route to earning All-SEC honors.
#LSU has five players make the AP All-SEC Team.
Zach Von Rosenberg
— Brody Miller (@BrodyAMiller) December 3, 2018
While the opportunity to declare for the NFL draft is tempting, the redshirt sophomore is enjoying his career revival in Baton Rouge.
“I would consider it, but man it would be difficult to leave after these past three years,” Von Rosenberg said to The Advocate. “What I’ve been able to do. … Now, I’ve had the experience and I’m like ‘man is it really worth missing out on two more years?’”