Tommy Zbikowski - Buffalo Grove, Illinois - 6-0, 185, 4.4/40 - Versatility is thy name. Or Tommy Zbikowski. Whichever you prefer, but this Illinois standout is getting attention from just about everywhere and for just about any position not in the trenches. He's fast, he's strong, he plays both sides of the ball and he's adept at running either with the ball or while going after it on defense. His offensive stats alone are enough to give you a good idea as to his versatility and his athleticism. He tallied a reported 1200 yards passing and 1100 yards rushing. He completed 56 percent of his passes and his total offensive productivity amounted to 34 touchdowns.
Without looking at film, you can only assume what Tommy's strengths are, whether he is a better runner or passer, what makes him a good runner and so on. Obviously though, he can put it in a little clearer terms of what he does best and why. "I rushed for a lot of yards, but I think my passing is more of my strength than my rushing." Zbikowski stated. "A lot of people see 1,000 rushing and they think I am only a rusher and not a passer, but I think I am a better passer." His stats of 1200 yards, throwing 56 percent and totaling 14 should illustrate that nicely.
Of course then, there is the running aspect of his game and for Tommy, it's all about getting into that vital open-field. "My strength is open-field just because of my speed from track", Tommy stated. "I played running back up until 8th grade and then I switched to QB my freshman year, so I can still the run the option like a running back through crowds and stuff like that."
Though Tommy is obviously a threat on offense, he wants to know that he will be just as much of a threat on defense. Playing both ways this season, you are going to see Zbikowski playing both QB and CB for his team. For him, the CB spot is nice, because he actually prefers defense, but he likes the safety position a bit better. "I am playing cornerback because they need me there." To his defensive mentality, Tommy is at least as aggressive on that side, but also a little more comfortable. "I love playing defense. Basically, I just like hitting people." And to what he thinks about getting an open shot on an unsuspecting ball carrier? "That's the best part of playing defense. That's what you look for."
Tommy does love defense, but he isn't being recruited solely for that. Zbikowski reported that he is being recruited from schools such as Northwestern and Nebraska for the QB position and teams like Iowa that have basically said he can play whatever he wants. Does he have a preference? Yes, but Tommy stated that his desire to play free safety won't be the ultimately deciding factor in where he goes to College. "I want to play free safety, but it's not going to determine where I go, whether I can play it or not. I just like the position."
And to those schools that are recruiting him, it's a bunch. Tommy told me that he has apprx. 30 offers on the table and counting. Of those schools, Tommy has already tried to visit (unofficially) some at "junior da" type events. Schools like Notre Dame, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Northwestern have all received those types of visits already, but Tommy isn't planning anymore until probably after the end of his senior season. As to the officials, none scheduled but Tommy does have a list right now. Northwestern, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Iowa, Illinois, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. You can add a few later or take a few away. It's all up in the air right now, but that's as close to a list for Zbikowski as you are likely to get, at least at this time.