One of the most significant position changes during the off-season brought Anthony Zettel from defensive end to the interior defensive line. Both starting defensive tackles from last season, Kyle Baublitz and DaQuan Jones, have departed. Zettel has consistently demonstrated the ability to make big plays during his initial two seasons on the field and will be a primary contender for a starting assignment. One of the squad's hardest workers and fiercest competitors, Zettel's efforts during the off-season strength and conditioning program have resulted in adding more than 15 pounds of muscle. The coaching staff recognized Zettel's play at his new position by selecting him as the recipient of the Jim O'Hora Award, presented to the defense's most improved player during spring practice. Despite starting only two games last season, the strong and physical Zettel ranked second on the team in sacks (4.0) and third in tackles for loss (6.0). More than 35 percent of Zettel's 16 tackles last fall resulted in a minus-yardage play, a remarkable ratio for the intense and passionate Michigan native. He played in all 12 games in 2013, making starts in the wins over Michigan and Illinois. In his first career start, against No. 18 Michigan, he grabbed his first career interception, returning it 18 yards to set up a touchdown. Zettel is among three defensive returnees from Michigan, joining linebacker Charles Idemudia and defensive end C.J. Olaniyan.
2013 (Junior Season)
Zettel continued his progression and exhibited a nose for the ball, finishing second on the team with 4.0 sacks (minus-32) and collecting 6.0 tackles for loss (minus-43). More than 35 percent of Zettel's tackles during the season resulted in a TFL. Playing in all 12 games, with a pair of starts, he recorded 16 tackles (11 solo), with two pass breakups and one interception. Zettel had two tackles against UCF and recorded a sack for a nine-yard loss in the Big Ten-opener at Indiana. Zettel made his first career start against Michigan, accounting for three stops (two solo). In the four-overtime win over the No. 18 Wolverines, Zettel grabbed his first career interception, returning it 18 yards to set up a touchdown that would give Penn State a 14-0 lead. Zettel made four stops at No. 4 Ohio State, including 2.0 TFL for minus-11 yards, and recorded one sack for minus-11 yards in the win over Illinois, in his second start of the season. Zettel posted a tackle and a pass breakup in the victory over Purdue. He finished the season strong with two sacks for minus-12 yards and a quarterback hurry in the 31-24 win at No. 14 Wisconsin.
2012 (Sophomore Season)
In his first season on the field, Zettel played in all 12 games and made an immediate impact when he took the field. He made 15 tackles (10 solo), recording 4.0 sacks and adding two pass breakups. His 4.0 sacks (minus-19) were tied for third on the team and tied with linebacker Mike Hull for the most among non-starters. Zettel made three tackles against Ohio in his Nittany Lion debut. He delivered a big six-tackle effort that included two sacks (minus-15 yards) in the 34-7 win over Navy in Bill O'Brien's first career head coaching victory. Zettel recorded a sack during a two-tackle effort in the 38-14 prime time victory at Iowa. He made one solo stop and had a pass breakup in the 34-9 win at Purdue and recorded a sack in the win over Indiana.
2011 (Freshman Season)
Zettel was a first-team all-state selection as a senior for Coach Andrew Pratley at Ogemaw Heights High School. As a senior, he recorded 82 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles and dropped the quarterback in the backfield seven times. Zettel received a four-star rating from Rivals.com and was the nation's No. 6 prep defensive end. He was captain of the basketball team and played baseball. Zettel also was a standout in the shot put, throwing a toss of 61 feet, 8 inches to set a Michigan high school state record.
Full name is Anthony Joseph Zettel. He is the son of Terry and Carrie Zettel. He has two brothers, Kyle and Easton, and one sister, Jenna. He enjoys outdoor sports, fishing, spending time with friends, dancing and singing. Zettel is a kinesiology major and is interested in a career as a strength and conditioning coach or a chiropractor. Born August 9, 1992 in Tawas, Mich.