Sep 14, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Zach Zwinak (28) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Central Florida Knights at Beaver Stadium. Central Florida defeated Penn State 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Football Player Preview: Running Back Zach Zwinak

With just over three months away from the kickoff of Penn State’s 2014 season against UCF in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin Ireland, VBR will be bringing you player profiles to get you through this stretch of light football news. We are stating with offensive players who figure to see a lot of playing time this season. Today’s debut edition takes a look at starting running back Zach Zwinak.

The senior caught a break during the 2012 season and has made the most of his opportunity ever since.  After being buried on the depth chart, the transfer of Silas Redd and early season injuries to starter Bill Belton and others forced  Zwinak  into action.  He quickly made an impact and led the Nittany Lions with 1,000 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

Zwinak entered last season as the starting running back from day one and again put together a solid year. Despite dealing with fumbling issues midway through the season, he went on to rush for a team-high 989 yards and 12 touchdowns, scoring three touchdowns in a game three times.

He’s a tough runner who’s shown a knack for getting the short yardage when needed, especially down on the goal line. However, don’t let his size or hard running fool you, as he has shown speed that seemed to surprise many opposing defenses.

Zwinak is a great contrast to fellow running back Bill Belton, who uses a mix of speed and elusiveness to be productive.

This season, Zwinak should once again see significant time as a starter and will get a chance to make a big impact on a Penn State running game that will look to improve on a No. 7 ranking in the Big Ten Conference.

As a senior, expect Zwinak to once again flirt with 1,000 rushing yards and hit double-digit touchdowns. He’s had a fantastic two seasons and will look to keep it rolling in 2014.



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