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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Zach Bautz, RB, Lycoming College

Zach Bautz the star running back from Lycoming College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
Zach Bautz the star running back from Lycoming College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Zach Bautz
  • Position: RB
  • College: Lycoming College
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Twitter: @BautzZach
  • Instagram: @bautzy80

What sets you apart from other running backs?

What sets me apart from other running backs is my heart and passion for this game. Every play, I’m giving 200%, and I let the man who gets in front of me know he’s going to have a long day ahead of him. I’m versatile, & I have spectacular hands. Transitioning from WR to RB, I can line up anywhere and make something happen. When the ball isn’t in my hands, I’m hitting somebody. I’m a football player.

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

From the moment I put my helmet on at 5 years old I never looked back. I was always that kid in class who’d get laughed at when the teacher asked what everyone wanted to be when they grew up, and I would say “a professional football player”. Being doubted all the time really lit a fire underneath me. My love for the game is out of this world. It’s been my fathers dream his entire life to see me play at a professional level. There’s so many things I can say honestly. Just the feeling of stepping onto the field on game day was enough for me to decide it was everything.

If you could win 1 NFL player award which one and why?

I’ve never really been one about stats/accolades, I just want to win man. But if I had to choose, it’d have to be the Walter Payton Award. One of the reasons I want this so badly is so I can give back to people, and be involved with the less fortunate. It’s just a part of who I am. I care about the people in this world, and I want to be a change.

What areas of your game are you looking to improve the most?

An area I’m mainly looking to improve would have to be my agility. I’m more of a north/south, run through you to get yards kind of guy. Don’t get me wrong I can make some moves, but I’d definitely like to be more shifty running the ball.

What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

Knowledge. I’d take knowledge over athleticism. You have to know what you’re doing, you have to know where to be, where your teammates are going to be. You have to have a sense of what the defense is doing. Another thing, chemistry within the team. You have to build relationships with the guys playing next to you so you can have that smooth flow of plays. It takes 11 players on both sides to make it successful. You have to trust each other to go to war together.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

I’d have to go with my guy B-Dawk. Wolverine. I feel the energy from who he was off of the field, compared to who he was on. You’d see him give everything he had, every single play. The switch that he was able to turn on when he was running out of the tunnel always inspired me. He showed me what I needed to do when I got on the field. You flip the switch. No one is your buddy, not even your buddy. I’m the nicest guy off of the field, but you don’t want to cross paths with me on it. He’s definitely had an incredible impact on me and the way I view & play the game. He has a heart of a lion and he showed it always. Me & B-Dawk would be great friends haha.

If there was a billboard with 5 of your traits on it which 5 are up there?

Disciplined, respectful, coachable, dependable/responsible, hungry.

What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I bring ALLLLL the energy on the football field. All positive vibes from me. Picking up my teammates if something goes wrong and let them know “next play, head up”. I’d like to think I bring a type of leadership role to any thing I’m doing. And like I said earlier, I’m gonna bring the hurt. I’m gonna run through you and I’m going to show you I’m jacked up so my team feels that same energy and makes a play the next one. I am so passionate about this game that you can tell every single play. The love and passion says everything about me.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

Well, I’m very grateful for the way I was brought up. My parents are my world & have done everything for me. A couple years ago I wouldn’t have known how to respond to this question. But life experiences happened and I was in an unfortunate place for a while, without letting anyone know. Adversity is a huge thing for me. When you’re in a dark place in life, it’s hard to see yourself outside of that situation. Challenges are simply a test. If you didn’t have challenges in your life, it’d be too easy right? It’s up to you to persevere and believe in yourself. Going through rough times has given me a huge boost in confidence, because at the time I never thought I would get back to feeling like myself. On and off of the football field, you have to keep your mind in a steady place. And truly believe that everything happens for a reason. If a challenge is put in front of me, on or off of the field, I will gladly accept it with open arms, and I will overcome it. A challenge is a way to prove to yourself that you can do anything you put your mind too.

What would a team get in a player like you?

My heart, soul, blood, sweat & tears. A hard working, passionate player, who loves the game and loves to win.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My favorite moments would have to be the accomplishments I made in high school because it definitely put my mindset in the right place and it allowed me to grow and gave me the confidence to truly believe in myself and my abilities.

What should we know about Zach Bautz the person?

I’m a humble, respectable, selfless guy. I never put myself before others and I love to see others happy & succeed. I appreciate the little things in life & I’m always looking for ways to improve & grow. Family is everything to me and everything I do, I always give 110%. And I love football.

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