Mean Green Scene > Q & A with Zach Muzzy
Q & A with Zach Muzzy
Q: What’s your football schedule like in early August before classes start?
A: It’s an all-day affair, basically. We have to be there for breakfast, which is at 6:30 in the morning, and then we have practice at 8, lunch at 11, meetings again at 2:30 or 3, practice at 4, dinner at 6:30 and then meetings again at 7:30. I’d average getting home about 9 o’clock at night, and then once I got home I usually just went back to bed again so I could have some energy for the next day. Since the NCAA made a rule you can’t do two-a-days two days in a row — it has to be two-a-day, one-a-day, two-a-day — the days we have one practice we have to lift also.
Q: How does the schedule change once classes start?
A: Once classes start, we don’t have practice until 3, but we have meetings at 2. My classes run into meetings, and then I go to practice, and then Monday and Wednesday nights I have class again. Once my day has started I’m usually gone until about 9:30 at night. The times I do have in the morning I usually come up and watch film on the other team.
Q: When do you study?
A: I usually have to stay up a little later after my classes, or on Tuesday and Thursday nights I have more time to study so I try to get my school stuff in then too. But you also have to make sure you get your football studying in as well, so it’s just kind of a juggling act to make sure you get both done.
Q: Is that what Coach Dickey mean when he talks about being mentally tough on and off the field?
A: I take it as he’s talking about everything — school, football, any type of personal issues you run into. You’re always going to run into challenges in all parts of your life and you just have to be mentally tough to handle it either way, whether it’s on or off the field. School can get tough at times and you might not do as well on a test or something, but just like in football, if you mess up, you can’t let that one get you down. You’ve got to work to get better and improve yourself.
Q: What happened your freshman season?
A: I turned wrong. I made a cut and my foot stayed one direction and my knee went the other and it just ended up tearing my ACL — one game, really actually one play, too late to get a medical redshirt, and I’d already played too much to get a regular redshirt. So that season kind of ended there. There were benefits to it because my freshman year out on the field I was a lot smaller, and while I was playing I was getting pushed around more than I do now. So it helped that I was able to get in the weight room and really train. It also helped with school at that time, being able to adjust more and really understand what I needed to do to do well in school. I mean, I didn’t enjoy the fact that I was hurt, but there were positives to it besides the negatives.
Q: Do you do something to psyche yourself up before a game?
A: I don’t get real excited and jump around or anything like that. I just stay pretty calm until once the game’s started. Even then I’m not a real loud, jump-around guy. I just stay calm and I focus in on what I need to do, and then I go out and try to do it the best I can.
Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: I try to wear the same socks every game, you know of course washed. And I’ll usually take a shower before the game, at the hotel or at my apartment before I go up to where I’m not going to be able to do it again. Those are my only superstitions, I guess you would say.
Q: What do you eat before a game?
A: For our pregame meal they usually feed us two pieces of baked chicken, spaghetti and rice with a baked potato and green beans. No matter where we are it’s the same meal — high carbs and protein and I guess just trying to make sure you’re full, because it’s going to be four hours before you even play and then you’ll have a three-hour game. It’s just something to try to make sure your energy levels will be up by the time the game comes around.
Q: Do you notice the Mean Green fans who travel to away games?
A: It’s always appreciated when you’re at an away stadium and you come out and you actually have some people cheering for you. You know that someone cares about what you’re doing. Before the game it’s nice to know that they’re there, and after the game when you come out and they’re standing out there telling you “good job” and “congratulations,” it’s nice.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to play?
A: My favorite place I guess would have to be New Orleans because it is a bowl game. During the regular season my favorite place to play would be at home because usually my family can come up for that for sure and you know the fans are all for you instead of someone else, and it’s just a good feeling. But my favorite away place would have to be New Orleans just because it is a bowl game and you know you’ve done well the whole season to get there.
Q: What are some of the games in your UNT career you remember most?
A: The Colorado game a couple of years ago. We didn’t end up winning, but I played a pretty good game and my cousins from Nebraska came to it and I hadn’t seen them for a few years or so — more than that. Just playing well in front of them was an exciting feeling. The fact that we lost kind of hurt that, but that was a fun game. And the Louisiana-Lafayette game a couple of years back — my aunt and uncle came to the game from Houston. I played well there and we got a win, and it was on ESPN that night. All the games that are on ESPN are usually pretty fun games to play in.
Q: What’s your training like in the off-season?
A: During the spring semester we come back and freshmen have to lift at 6 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and upperclassmen can choose what time they lift. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are weight days. Tuesday-Thursdays are conditioning days, and we usually run at 6:30 in the morning. During the summer, most people will stay up here, and if they do go home, Coach Seroka sends them a packet that has the workouts for the entire summer, so they have the same workouts that we’re doing up here, Every now and then you do go home so you just take the workouts with you and do them wherever you can. But I stay up here for the most part. I actually took 9 hours this summer, during Summer I.
Q: Is there a time of year you don’t think about football?
A: Christmas break, usually. You know, football season just got over. We don’t have anything going on, so I try to just stick to thinking about my family and my friends I’m going to get to see back home, and football’s kind of out of my mind at that point. I can relax. Because I know once I come back — we start lifting the first day we come back to school. Even though you’re not playing football, you know that’s the reason you’re lifting and running. So usually Christmas break is about the time you’re not really thinking about football.