Stock Up For Zanellato

Matt Zanellato

When prospects change schools you often see varying degrees of success, but the grass isn't always greener on the other side. The grass is very green on the other side for Matt Zanellato after transferring from one school to another.

Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock senior wide receiver Matt Zanellato played his junior season at Robinson Secondary and its run oriented offense. Lake Braddock features a more receiver friendly passing attack, which has helped Zanellato post some eye popping statistics. The schools are four miles apart and they are the others biggest rival.

"It definitely makes for an interesting off season," laughed Zanellato. "Robinson beat us this year and gave us our only loss. They run a Wing-T offense and we had two 1,500-yard rushers, so they didn't throw the ball much. I still caught 40 passes which I think was a school record."

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound, transfer has caught 60 passes for 1,167 yards and 16 touchdowns this season in nine games. Zanellato's senior season is putting him on the map and earned him his first scholarship offer a few weeks ago.

"Miami (Ohio) offered me about three-four weeks ago," Zanellato stated. "Coach Antoine Smith called me and he said he had reviewed the tape and he wanted the head coach (Michael Haywood) to see it. He called back a few days later and said he had some very good news for me and they offered me a scholarship. I was very excited to get that first offer. I was all worried and wondering what I had to do to get one. I was putting up numbers and we were winning, but it all worked out. I haven't really focused that much on recruiting."

Zanellato ventured to Penn State on Saturday to see the Nittany Lions play Michigan in front of a jam packed Beaver Stadium crowd. He also had the chance to spend some time with his brother Joe Zanellato, who managed to sneak him into the student section for a different vantage point.

"My brother (Joe) goes there and I snuck into the student section with him," Zanellato said. "It was an awesome experience being there with all those students cheering."

The Lake Braddock star has been to multiple Penn State games, but he told us this time it had a different feel to it.

"I have been to two other games, but they were during the day against smaller schools," stated Zanellato. "This was totally different than what I saw before. There were so many recruits and they took us to the recruiting lounge to eat and then Coach (Mike) McQueary took us to the media room and talked to all of us. We also watched a video that showed some of the current Penn State players who are in the NFL. They spoke to us about academics. Coach McQueary said they are different than any other program. Not better and not worse, just different.

"We got to watch the players arrive at the stadium and where they get off of the buses," Zanellato continued. "They walked right past us through the tunnel and into the locker rooms. That was an awesome experience that I had not gotten to see before."

If Zanellato is lucky enough to receive a scholarship offer from Penn State it will finalize a whirlwind tour of emotions for the well-spoken youngster who never thought he'd come this close to achieving a dream.

"I came to camp at Penn State this summer and to be honest with you I never thought I had any shot at every going there," Zanellato explained. I worked with Coach McQueary a lot at the camp. I always liked Penn State, but I never thought they'd recruit me. By the end of the second day they became more interested in me. Coach McQueary told me he doesn't necessarily need the big name guys at wide receiver. He wants guys like me who work hard, run good routes, catch the ball and have good work ethics."

Zanellato also had the chance during an early season practice to speak with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno.

"I was at a practice back in August and I had the chance to meet Coach Paterno," he said. "It was great to meet him. He called me over and asked about my family and then my family got to speak with him. It was very interesting to sit there and to be talking with Joe Paterno." Zanellato is about as down to earth as a teenager can be when it comes to recruiting and offers.

"They (Penn State) seem to be very interested in me," Zanellato explained. "They said Derek Moye could go to the NFL and depending on what happens numbers wise and where they are at there could be an offer for me. I just have to see how it all plays out."

Zanellato also made a trip to nearby Maryland to see the Terrapins plays Morgan State.

"It was a very good trip," Zanellato said. "I had a chance to talk to several of the coaches. We went to a 7v7 camp there, so all the coaches got to see me perform and I did pretty well there. It put me on their radar. I spoke to my recruiting coach (Al) Seamonson and Coach (Ralph) Friedgen. It was a blowout game. I like Maryland because it is close enough to home that if I had to come home I could, but it's far enough away. I like their offense, because they have produced some great wide receivers and they like to throw the ball. I'm going to try to get back there when they play Florida State."

Zanellato is planning an official visit to Miami (Ohio) the weekend of December 3. He has been clocked at (4.55) in the forty-yard dash and scored 1600 on the SAT, including 1090 on the math and verbal parts.

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