Zeller, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive lineman from Red Lion (Pa.) Area High, holds offers from Rutgers, where he plans to visit in the next two weeks, as well as Maryland, Duke and Oregon. He is getting interest from a bunch of other schools, including Pittsburgh, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina and Tennessee.
It is one of the benefits when the body grows five inches and adds 65 pounds between the beginning of a sophomore season and the end of a junior season, especially when the coordination doesn't suffer and the strength improves.
"When coaches come to see me, they say I'm a great personality and a great kid,'' Zeller said. "One of the biggest things is I just turned 16 in October, so I'm still young. I don't turn 18 until my freshman year of college, so I have a lot of room to prosper. I definitely have a lot of room to grow.''
Zeller grew up in Manchester, Md., but moved to Red Lion before high school. While growing up, he was a close follower of the Terps, and particularly receiver Steve Suter, who attended North Carroll High (Hampstead, Md.), which was the same high school Zeller would have attended if his family did not move.
"Maryland's liking me a lot, they need some linemen, and I used to live in Maryland,'' Zeller said. "Five years ago I moved up to Pennsylvania. It's not a strong tie, but definitely, I like Maryland.''
However, Zeller has an eagerness to learn more about Rutgers, where he said he will visit shortly.
"I haven't scheduled a time to visit up there yet, but in the next two weeks I'm going to take a visit up there,'' Zeller said. "I haven't really seen it but I've talked to the coaches. As a football school, it's definitely an up-and-coming program. They field a competitive team year-in and year-out, and it's definitely a program that is proud of its players.''
The distance could also work in Rutgers' favor.
"For me, that's also another school that's very local,'' Zeller said. "It's only 2½ hours away. Even though it's New Jersey, I really don't consider it an out-of-state school. My parents would be able to travel there, so it's definitely an option for me right now.''
Another benefit is Rutgers' academic reputation. Zeller is contemplating a business major, and Scarlet Knights assistant coach Kirk Ciarrocca is driving home the virtues of the school's business program.
"Academically, I was talking to coach Ciarrocca, and he said they have a great business program, which is something that I was looking to get into, so that is also on the up side,'' Zeller said. "I'm looking for a school that is great in academics all-around, and they field a competitive team year-in and year-out.''
Before making a decision, Zeller plans to see plenty of campuses.
He already visited Connecticut, Duke and Maryland.
"I'd like to check out a couple more schools and get a feel for them,'' Zeller said. "That's my plan for this summer, to just visit a lot of places, and I'll probably make a decision in the first couple weeks of the season.''