Small School Legend Will Play on Big Stage

Nick Zachery elicits a response from those who played with him, against him, and even those who read about him. No Indiana small school player who trod the gridiron has the storied past like the one that will follow Nick Zachery to the hallowed halls of Indiana University. He has personal high expectations, but they are grounded in reality.

He understands the challenges that lie ahead and is excited about his future.

Over the course of the last four years, a large part of my coverage of Indiana high school football has been spent watching Nick Zachery grow up and mature as a football player. He indeed has become nothing short of a legend in Indiana small school football. Kevin Wright, former Warren Central head coach and now an assistant at Western Kentucky University, told me that Nick Zachery could have been a starter as a freshman in Warren Central's defensive secondary. Four seasons later he has 3 state championship rings and Sheridan was Indiana's 2008 Class A runner-up.

There was no where to hide his disappointment at this year's state finals game. Losing was a bitter pill and, by his own admission, very hard to swallow. "I'm a competitor. When I walk on the field, my attitude goes into an aggressive mode, and I attack," he stressed. He then admitted, "I didn't like losing in the (2008) state final game. I reacted to several situations which were aimed at me personally." No one can deny that this young man is competitive in nature and is extremely confident in his abilities. He is currently playing basketball and plans to run track, admitting that he will run the 100, 200 and 400 in track this spring.

His senior season started out with an agreement with teammate Ty Perkins. He told Ty if he (Ty) played football, he (Nick) would play basketball. Both held up their end of the bargain and Nick is putting up double figures in every basketball game. There is no hiding the fact that Nick Zachery is an athlete which is primarily what has given him the shot at Indiana University.

Nick visited IU and immediately fell in love with the campus, the atmosphere and found the IU coaching staff extremely open and willing to communicate the opportunities that were available both in the classroom and on the gridiron. What has not been reported is the wisdom that Nick has about his future. He recognizes that his first year may be a "red shirt" situation. One of the inadequacies of going to a small high school is the lack of strength coach and strength equipment. Nick recognizes that he must get stronger. He has room to grow and add weight in muscle and put that together with the ability. He can practice a year without losing a year of eligibility and hopes to make up for any inequity he had in playing for a small school. "If I am redshirted, I won't be bothered by it. I will adapt to Big 10 speed and Big 10 size and be ready as a red shirt freshman." Nick said earnestly.

Nick has no regrets. He cherished his senior year of football because of his fellow seniors had dedicated themselves to one another as teammates. He plans to take the same toughness to Indiana University but with clarity of purpose to improve and help IU football. In the state of Indiana, he is a small school legend, but his dreams are still to play "Big" in the Big Ten.

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