Every year, there are some of those college players with tons of heart and average physical talent that find their way onto NFL rosters. That’s the case with Michael Zordich, an undrafted rookie fullback who’s hoping to earn a role with the Carolina Panthers.
A Penn State alum, Zordich has never been a player that makes highlight reels or ends up on post-season award lists. What he did do throughout his collegiate career was prove himself to be a high-character player with the mental makeup that NFL teams covet in bottom-of-the-roster players.
Zordich was an emotional sparkplug for the Nittany Lions, providing leadership both on and off the field. While Penn State was going through the most turbulent time in school history, Zordich was the rock that all of his teammates needed.
While Zordich is facing long odds to make the roster, there are a couple factors leaning in his favor.
First, Zordich has significant NFL bloodlines. His father – Michael Zordich Sr. – was an All-American safety at Penn State before playing 12 NFL seasons. After his All-Pro playing career ended, the older Zordich began coaching and is currently the safeties coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Second, Zordich offers the type of lead blocking that the rest of the Panthers’ fullbacks don’t have in their repertoire. Mike Tolbert is an offensive weapon who makes his mark with the ball in his hands. Richie Brockel, a tight end/fullback hybrid, is also more of an in-line blocker and receiver than a true lead blocker. Zordich will have the opportunity during Panthers training camp to prove that he has the well-rounded package that no other Carolina fullback can offer.
While surpassing Tolbert is virtually impossible barring an injury, Zordich stands a solid chance of pushing Brockel for a roster spot. He has the lead blocking the Panthers could use and possesses plenty of value as a special teams ace. There’s even some potential for the Penn State product to develop some value as a utility offensive weapon in a season or two.
Zordich is an undrafted rookie worth rooting for during training camp. He might not be the prototypical NFL fullback, but his well-rounded value as a blocker, special teams contributor and high-character player makes him one worth hanging onto for the Panthers.