Why would the Buckeyes, who already have three young players on the roster at fullback, offer the nation's No. 2 fullback position? As it turns out, there is a very good reason.
The Buckeyes view the 6-2, 225-pound Zwinak as an athlete with a shot at playing linebacker, according to Frederick (Md.) Linganore head coach Rick Conner.
"They like that he reminds them of guys they have on their team right now and that, simply put, he's a football player," Conner told BuckeyeSports.com. "They put in him in the athlete category, so whatever that means. He could be in the backfield or he could be a linebacker. To me, he reminds me of the type of linebackers they've had there in the past.
"He's 6-2 … can run like a deer, crazy athlete, can dunk a basketball."
Zwinak, ranked as a four-star prospect by Scout.com, plays both linebacker and running back for Linganore. As a junior, he carried the ball 133 times for 1,447 yards and 19 touchdowns and earned first-team all-area, all-conference and all-state honors in the process.
Defensively, he recorded 53 tackles – 11 for loss – with five sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
"He's got that rare ability where he can run away from you or he can run right through you," Conner said. "We attack him at the line of scrimmage from every angle possible from behind the quarterback. We toss it to him, we run him off tackle, we go right up the middle on them with him."
Now up to more than 20 scholarship offers, Zwinak added one from the Buckeyes during the final week of May. Linebackers coach Luke Fickell and safeties coach Paul Haynes each made appearances at Linganore, Conner said.
"They've liked him for a while," Conner said. "They just finally got his tape in front of everybody. Every team has a process and a chain of command."
Conner said Zwinak has some concrete ideas about what he is looking for in a school.
"Zach wants a big stage," the coach said. "He wants to play football at a very high level and he's been very fortunate that he's had about 20 schools that have exactly that. Location is a part of it. Also, how he'll be used as a football player. He'd like to carry the ball. He's said that and we're going to see where that makes him the best fit."
The plan is to come up with a list of top schools by the end of this month, Conner said. Asked if OSU figures to be on that list, he said, "I think they'll be right there. I think they'll be one of those schools that will remain on his list."