Player Profile: Travis Zachery

"Keep Rolling, Rolling, Rolling" are the words of Limp Bizkit. They may not have had him in mind, but that seems to epitomize Travis Zachery's career as Tailback for the Tigers. Years from now, when I look back, Travis Zachery will undoubtedly be one of my favorites. "Sportscenter" would say, "all he does… score touchdowns," but any Tiger fan will tell you he does much more than that.

In 1996 Travis Zachery was among a triumvirate of hotly pursued running backs from the Peach State. Current UGA fullback Jasper Sanks was the #1 rated prospect in the south, and the #3 Running Back nationally. Former Tennessee Volunteer and current Baltimore Raven, Jamal Lewis was the #7 rated back in the nation, and Marietta standout Travis Zachery was the 17th rated Tailback in all the land. He averaged a ridiculous 8.4 yards every time he carried the ball.

Early in his recruiting process it was thought he was a package deal with MHS QB LaBrone Mitchell, but LaBrone was a heavy lean to Georgia the whole time, while "Tzach" gave heavy looks to Auburn, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina before deciding on becoming a Clemson Tiger.

When looking at the career of this young man, you can't help but admire him. He consistently does what people say he cannot. When he got here, critics said he was too small to be an effective running back for the Tigers.

He got in Tommy's doghouse, but has fought his way out. He has been, bumped, bruised and injured. All he has done is to become one of the most prolific running backs to ever wear the Tiger Paw on his helmet.

He has certainly left his mark on the record books, he ranks 1st in TDs in a season (18), most receptions by a RB (29), points in a season (108), career rushing TDs (33) and overall career TDs (39).

No Tiger has familiarized himself with the endzone quite like Tzach has. That says something. Its scary to think his assault on the record books has another full season, and he will surely move up the charts in all purpose running yards in a career (2nd), and rushing yards in career (he is currently 5th with 2482). That is some serious production.

On paper, Travis Zachery doesn't appear as if he would cause the fits for defensive coordinators that he most certainly does. A 6'1 190 lb. tailback doesn't seem like a headache, but it is his versatility, as well as field savvy that makes him lethal anywhere on the field.

He is just as dangerous on 3rd and 17 as he is on 2nd and 2. He has some of the stickiest hands on the team, and never seems to drop a pass. When running in between the tackles, he has amazing vision to see a crease before it is there, hit it, then get up field. In any timing offense like the spread, a running back must be able to pick holes, and go, and Travis does this better than anyone. When watching him play one is struck by the fact that he never seems to lose yardage. When a hole is available, he shows zero hesitation, does not dance, or try to break things to the outside. A game plan can be put into place with the comfort that your tailback will not put you in any longer yardage situations. That is a highly undervalued skill, but you can be rest assured that the coaches know this, and appreciate it greatly.

So despite criticism about things that can only be seen on paper, such as 40 times, size, etc, Travis just keeps on rolling. Rolling up yards, rolling up touchdowns, and rolling up wins.

Make no mistake about it, Travis Zachery will be a key cog in the 2001 Tiger offense, and he will help it be the potent version we all expect. Top Stories