However, three months later, Zanca has built himself into prime SEC linebacker condition, adding significant weight since his junior season.
"I played my junior season at 205 and since December I have put on about 35 pounds during my workouts," Zanca told InsideTennessee. "We have team workouts for my high school each morning Monday through Thursday at 5:30 in the morning. Then after that I go work out with my own personal trainer at 10 o'clock."
Zanca, who now tips the scales at 242 pounds, hopes to help lead Lake Brantley (Fla.) High School to another stellar season after going 10-0 in 2011 before falling to Fletcher High School 28-14 in the first round of the FHSAA Class 8A state tournament.
"I want to help take my team to the playoffs and beyond that I really want to get to a state championship," Zanca said. "I have been really focused on improving my game and strength this off season."
The Altamonte Springs, Fla., native finished his junior season with 58 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles at defensive end. With his name firmly entrenched on the Tennessee commitment list things have changed a bit back home.
"Basically all of my friends have been telling me that they can't wait to watch me," he said. "People are already asking if I can get them tickets to come up and watch me. Every one tells me that they are happy for me and stuff like that. It is pretty cool."
Zanca, who projects as an outside linebacker in Sal Sunseri's 3-4 defense, keeps in constant contact with the Tennessee coaching staff, but the topic of conversation has changed a bit.
"I am still pretty close with the coaching staff," Zanca said. "I talk to either coach (Darin) Hinshaw or coach Sal (Sunseri) every week. We don't really talk about football much. We just catch up and they ask me how my summer is going and stuff like that."
While the rising senior is extremely excited about his future in Knoxville, it is going to be very tough to see more than one game in Neyland Stadium this fall.
"It is going to be really hard to get to up this fall because my high school season is so busy," he said. "We play through our whole season and the last week when high school teams are playing is our bye week. That bye week is when I am going to Tennessee for my official visit for the Missouri game."
You can see highlights of a much smaller Zanca from his junior season below:
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