Michael Zordich is a master of versatility from the fullback position, demonstrating the capability to block, carry and catch the ball with equal effectiveness. He also loves opportunities for the skills and instincts he owns as a former linebacker to take over on special teams, frequently delivering punishing hits on unsuspecting kick returners. Zordich led all offensive players with nine tackles last season, six of which were solo stops, making at least one stop in seven games. His work ethic, toughness and intensity will be a valued asset on an offense that must replace six starters in 2012. He plays with pride and passion and has been a leader in the weight room since workouts began last January. Playing in every game last year, and the last 38 career contests, with two starts, Zordich ran for 30 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 31 yards. His most significant impact came in helping open holes for Silas Redd (1,241 yards) and helping protect the quarterbacks, with Penn State leading the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed in 2011. He and former Penn State running back Brandon Beachum led Cardinal Mooney High School to three consecutive Ohio Class IV state title games. The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley honored Zordich last May as a local "Champions Among Us," who has represented the Mahoning Valley in a positive manner. Zordich served a summer internship with Ken Chertow Wrestling Camps and was on schedule to graduate in August. Zordich's father, Michael, was a standout strong safety for the Nittany Lions from 1982-85, earning first-team All-America honors as a senior.
2011 Senior Season
Playing in every game with two starts, Zordich ran for 30 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 31 yards. His most significant impact came in helping to open running lanes for Silas Redd (1,241 yards) and helping protect the quarterbacks, with Penn State leading the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed in 2011. Zordich led all offensive players with nine tackles, six of which were solo stops, making at least one stop in seven games. In the season-opener with Indiana State, Zordich had five carries for 15 yards, including a one-yard score in the second quarter. He delivered a fourth-quarter touchdown run against Temple for the second consecutive year, scoring with 2:42 to play. Against Eastern Michigan, he recorded two tackles and his 16-yard pass reception in the Leaders Division matchup against Purdue was the longest of his career. In the division battle against Illinois, Zordich caught a pass and made two tackles and had two carries and caught a pass in the big Leaders Division game against Ohio State. Zordich was on the field for 443 snaps, led by 52 at Northwestern and 50 against Illinois.
2010 Junior Season
Zordich emerged as a reliable contributor as a runner, receiver and effective blocker. Playing in every game, the former linebacker scored three rushing touchdowns, gaining 40 yards on 18 carries. He ran for 11 yards against Temple and scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Penn State a 22-13 lead. He provided the Nittany Lions additional breathing room against Michigan with a five-yard touchdown run for a 38-17 lead in the third quarter in the thrilling primetime win. He scored on a one-yard run and made one catch against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl. A strong contributor on special teams, he hustled and slid to secure his first career fumble recovery on punt coverage late in the second quarter to set up a field goal against Illinois. He also made three tackles (two solo). Zordich was on the field for 376 snaps, led by 50 against Florida and 42 in the win at Minnesota.
2009 Sophomore Season
Zordich was among the handful of players that compiled statistics on offense, defense and special teams during the course of the season. In the 42-14 win at Michigan State, he gained 13 yards on two carries. He also had three tackles, with two stops against Eastern Illinois and the other in the win over Temple. He returned two kickoffs, one for 16 yards against Temple and another for 12 yards in the victory at Northwestern. Playing in the final 12 games of the season, he was on the field for 55 snaps.
2008 Freshman Season
Zordich was a standout linebacker and running back for Coach P.J. Fecko at Cardinal Mooney High School. He teamed with former Nittany Lion teammate Brandon Beachum to lead Cardinal Mooney to the 2006 Ohio Class IV state championship and the 2005 and `07 state title games, winning 28 consecutive games in the last two seasons. Zordich was selected the 2007 Division IV Defensive Player-of-the-Year in Ohio and Scout.com rated him the nation's No. 5 middle linebacker. A team captain, Zordich was named to the Offense-Defense All-America team and was the Defensive MVP of the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. He was selected to play in the 2008 Big 33 Classic. As a senior, he grabbed three interceptions and rushed for a total of 796 yards with nine touchdowns. As a junior, he gained close to 1,000 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Zordich also played basketball.
Full name is Michael Vincent Zordich. He is the son of Michael and Cynthia Zordich, both Penn State graduates, and has a younger brother, Alex, and a younger sister, Aidan. His father is in his fourth year as a coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. The elder Zordich was an outstanding strong safety for Penn State (1982-85), earning first-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America as a senior. A 1985 tri-captain, he played 12 years in the National Football League with the New York Jets, Phoenix and Philadelphia. Cynthia was a Penn State cheerleader. The younger Zordich enjoys playing golf, basketball, video games and watching movies. Zordich is a recreation, parks and tourism management major. Born October 29, 1989 in Scottsdale, Ariz.