National Scouting Combine Featured Athlete Zach Bautz, RB/WR from Lycoming College

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Zachary Bautz | Lycoming College | RB/WR

Twitter: @BautzZach | Instagram: @Bautzy80

Q: Tell us about your sports career and what the recruiting/scouting process was like?

A: Well I’ve been playing ball since I was 4. My first year I quit because my helmet was too tight haha. But, I instantly fell in love with the game and I went right back & I’ve been playing ever since. It was Pop Warner all the way up until Delran High, and then onto Lycoming College. Football has always been a part of my life. As far as the recruiting process, I didn’t know anything about it haha. I just played football cause I love it. I didn’t really have the guidance, and my parents knew literally nothing about it either,  so I wasn’t expecting to play in college until the first D3 school looked at me after junior year. So I never really understood the process and what it took until my senior year. I was a lot smaller at the time, only being 160lbs, & I didn’t think I checked off enough boxes for most schools to give me a shot. So I wasn’t looked at by big schools. I had Division III schools recruiting me, and at the time that was enough for me because all I wanted to do as a kid was play college ball. I never let it discourage me. No one should ever. But at the same time, not being scouted or recruited made me always feel like there was an extra chip on my shoulder, or something to prove. Being recruited to play college ball in general really gave me the confidence like “damn, I really could do this”.

Q: Did you play in college and if so, who did you play for? What was your experience like?

A: Very briefly, unfortunately. Due to injury and some personal/family situations, I only spent two years there. My freshman year I did well throughout camp and I think I was surprising a lot of people. But after getting injured and stepping away, I started to film every single practice & game for the team. My experience was incredible. It sounds weird, but stepping away from the game and not playing helped me find an entire new love for it. It helped me see a different side of the game. I studied it constantly while watching. Film became my best friend. And although I didn’t get to finish my college dream, the two years I spent at Lycoming College were amazing and really made me realize how deep this game goes. Coach Clark was there for me during some difficult times and was truly more than a football Coach. He gave me the opportunity to stay a part of the team when I wasn’t able to play for him anymore, and it helped me gain so much more knowledge than when I walked in there. Coach Clark really will always be one of the greatest people I’ve encountered during my experience. 

Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?

A: My biggest accomplishment of my sports career would simply be the fact that I’m still playing & that I’m at my best right now. A lot of people have doubted me and told me my time was up. From where I was a couple years ago, I think chasing my dream to the point where I am now is a big accomplishment within itself. But I’m not done yet & I’m definitely not satisfied. 

Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from your coach(es)

A: Patience & discipline for sure. I’ve known a lot of athletes who have had all the talent in the world, but they let their ego get in the way. You have to be able to take constructive criticism and understand that your coaches aren’t out there to belittle you, they’re teaching you and they do it in a disciplined manner. Simply to make you better. You have to be able to control your emotions and use it when the time is right. Be patient and disciplined while you learn, so when you’re time is up, you know how to control the emotion. 

Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?

A: I believe that any teammate I’ve had, would first tell you how much heart & passion I play the game with. How I talk with my play and not my mouth. I think they’d tell you I’m a dedicated, team first guy who just wants to win and will do anything to do so. & most importantly they’d tell you how humble I am. 

Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?

A: It has to be the game winning touchdown my senior year with 40 seconds left against Willingboro. My QB & I have been throwing together since pre-school, no exaggeration. He had all the trust in me and he knew exactly where I was going to be, all the time. Our D had just given up a TD and they thought the game was over, but we had other ideas.  

Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?

A: Well, now that a lot of big time athletes have opened up about it, I think it’d be good for someone like me to talk about the same thing. My biggest challenge would definitely have to be my anxiety. We’re all human. We all experience different things in life and everyone has a different course. I feel in today‘s society, people are so worried about what everyone else thinks of them, so they’ll hold themselves to a certain standard and if they aren’t living up to it, it affects them. Everyone is so worried about comparing their own progress with other people’s, they lose focus on the bigger picture. Themselves. It’s honestly a tough thing to manage if you don’t have the support system. I have an amazing family and a wonderful woman by my side who understand anxiety & what it can do. They have helped me tremendously over the last couple years and especially with ways to cope with it by myself. They’ve definitely made managing it a hell of a lot easier. It takes a lot of discipline & patience. 

Q: Who was the best player you played against anytime during your career?

A: No doubt, Akrum Wadley. Man, we played this guy in high school in the state playoffs, and first play, he hurdled our 6’3 cornerback standing up. And I mean CLEARED. It’s probably not good to say, but that was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like it, & during the play I was in so much shock I forgot I was supposed to be chasing him haha. But he was a freak athlete, you’d wanna watch him play rather than play against him for sure. 

Q: If you could compare yourself to any pro athlete, who would that be and why?

A: Well my comparison would have to be Josh Jacobs or my guy Jordan Howard. They’re just very aggressive, one-cut runners who fight for every yard. I don’t have the 4.3 speed, but I’m gonna let you know it’s going to be a long day trying to bring me down. 

Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?

A: I think my biggest strength would be my versatility. Being a WR and RB, I can line up wherever and make something happen. Special teams, anywhere. I should be considered because I’m a hard working, determined football player who gives it everything he’s got. 

Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back” or ”pay it forward” in your community?

A: I try to do as much as I can. An example could be the snow storm that just hit here in NJ, I was outside snow blowing my neighbors sidewalks and driveways. I’m a selfless guy, I like to see others happy. I do things like that all the time. I would love to be in a position to give back and create my own charity for a cause. 

Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?

A: Watching football haha. I watch highlights whenever I get the chance. No, but I enjoy being outside, spending time with family, working out. Honestly, I enjoy anything as long as I’m not sitting around, that drives me nuts haha. I always try to stay busy. 

Q: If you could make a positive impact on all of society what would it be and why?

A: I would love to make an impact everywhere. I want to be that guy who goes into a random store during Christmas time and purchases everyone gifts. I would love to travel to places where people aren’t so fortunate, & give them things that would make living easier. I’ve lived out of my car before with no money, I know what it feels like to have nothing. I don’t ever want to see someone going through a tough time. I would do a lot of things for people because I enjoy making others happy. And if I’m in a place to do so, I will. 

Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?

A: It’s gotta be my dad. Since I started playing football, his heart was instantly in it. Even before mine. Like I said earlier about leaving the team because my helmet hurt my head, he was more upset than anyone haha. My relationship with my father was molded because of this game. My dad missed ONE football game in the 20 years I’ve played, and it’s one of the only times I’ve ever heard my dad choke up. He worked 3 jobs most of my childhood to help my mom support me and my two sisters. My dad really showed me what being a hard-worker meant. My dad would’ve done whatever it took for us. After all of my games, he would instantly let me know his favorite parts. And he never forgets a game and can tell you exactly what happened to this day. It’s pretty incredible honestly. But he’s been the driving force behind me and my dream and all he’s ever wanted was to see me run out of the tunnel. My dad busted his ass his entire life for me to be in the position I’m in now. It’s my turn to do this for him. Whatever it takes. 

Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?

A: I don‘t really know honestly. It’s like In class when the teacher would ask, I would never know what to say haha. But if I had to say something, It’d probably be my demeanor. I’m always trying to be positive and uplift others around me. I try to be there for everybody. I just try to be a positive influence to everybody and take some weight off of their shoulders. We all deal with a lot. 

Q: If you had the opportunity to play another sport professionally, what sport would you choose?

A: Aw man. It should be basketball or baseball, but although I’ve never played it, I would choose hockey in a second. But being a safety in football, I’ve always wanted to be a defender to skate around and hit people haha.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: Professional Football Player. 

2023 National Scouting Combine

January 23rd-27th held at Grand Park Events Center in Westifled, IN. Ready to compete?
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