Zettel seemed much more comfortable talking to the media than he did in the past. As a younger player, his answers could be kind of short and he seemed to not be at ease during interviews. But Thursday morning, he opened up a bit.
Zettel began his Penn State career at defensive tackle but did most of his damage the last couple of seasons as a backup end. Though not a starter, he led the team in total sacks across the 2012 and 2013 seasons (along with Deion Barnes) with eight. He also intercepted a pass last fall. Now he is moving back to defensive tackle.
ON THE CHALLENGES OF MOVING FROM END TO TACKLE
"You bring a lot of the same techniques to tackle. Personally, I'm doing really well there and I love playing inside more. It's a lot more reacting and a lot less thinking. … You bring the same techniques, but at the same time you have to stay lower, bring more leverage."
He added that most schools recruited him as a three-technique tackle, and he played there early in his PSU career. But he had trouble putting on the weight needed to stay at tackle, so he shifted out to end. However, under new strength coach Dwight Galt, he has gone from 262 to 279.
Also, he said eating a lot more has been key. Which brings us to…
ON HOW MUCH MORE IS HE EATING NOW
"The first two years in college, generally I didn't eat as much as I should have been eating. We worked out so much, I was burning a lot more (calories) and I was only eating enough to replenish what I broke off. … Basically, I learned that you can't eat three times a day like I used to. You have to eat five, six times a day."
He added that he has added "a couple thousand" calories a day to his diet. It is not the worst food for him nor the best food, "just extra calories."
ON WHAT HIS GOAL IS, WEIGHT-WISE
"My target weight by the season is 285." He wants to "keep my speed and everything, because that's what my best quality is." He said he is much stronger now and, if anything, faster than he's been in the past.
ON IF HE CAN BE THE SAME TYPE OF PASS-RUSHER AS A THREE-TECHNIQUE TACKLE THAT HE WAS AS AN END
"Definitely. I think (I can do) even more because at the three technique you have a lot of one-on-one blocks -- the nose guard usually takes most of the double teams. And as defensive end, running backs chip you a lot of times. … Especially having a good group of defensive ends (at Penn State), I think I'll get a lot of one on ones. That's where the quickness and take-off helps."
ON HOW MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE HE IS WORKING AS A STARTER
"Being a starter, I feel a lot more confident in myself. Plus the coaches feel more confident in me. I don't have to worry about the stuff that doesn't matter. I can just go out and play football."
ON HOW EXCITED THE TEAM IS FOR THE BLUE-WHITE GAME
"We're all going out there to compete against each other. Now it's in front of the whole country watching it. We're going to go out and compete, just like we have all throughout the spring. I'm expecting it to be pretty competitive."