Olive Branch, Miss.--Coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff have had a history of quietly signing a prospect that is considered under the radar and have him turn out to be a solid player. This year they are hoping that big linebacker Chris Zinn is the next in line for that spot.
A physical 6-3, 236 linebacker/defensive end from Olive Branch High, Zinn has been on the recruiting radar for the Tigers since early in his senior season. With much of the attention from recruiters going to teammate K.J. Wright it was easy for Zinn to get lost in the shuffle early but his play as a senior brought on the attention from several top programs.
A two-year starter at Olive Branch, Zinn had offers from Auburn, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Memphis, Arkansas State and others before choosing to sign with the Tigers. Expected to begin his football career at Hargrave Military in Virginia, Zinn says that he's thankful that Auburn has given him a shot to continue his football career and he wants to repay them by getting the job done.
"I like the coaches because they showed a lot of respect to my mom and answered any questions my mom had," Zinn tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's a good program. Academic-wise I'm going to a prep school to get my grades right. It takes a lot of guys for a college to believe in you. They must have faith in you to do what you have to do. That's what I like about them."
Being recruited as a possible middle linebacker but more than likely a defensive lineman by the Tigers, Zinn earned Class 5A All-Region honors and was named second-team All-State by the Mississippi Association of Coaches as a senior when he made 71 tackles and added four sacks as an outside linebacker in the Olive Branch system. He also added three fumble recoveries and one interception and had two returns for touchdowns. His play was enough for him to be voted the team MVP after a 12-2 season ended in the state semi-finals.