Zettel needs bigger appetite

While most people have to watch what they eat, Penn State’s Anthony Zettel has to make sure he keeps eating and eating and eating.

Zettel is moving from defensive end to defensive tackle, so he has to put on a good bit of weight. He’s already packed on about 20 pounds – going from 260 to 280 – in large part because he’s added a couple thousand calories a day to his diet and has to eat six times per day.

“You do have to force yourself to eat, even though you’re not hungry, throughout the day,” Zettel said Thursday.

Eating a ton of food would make most people gain a lot of weight. But football players have to eat a lot simply because they practice and work out so much that they burn off all the calories.

Zettel, a redshirt junior, began his college career playing defensive tackle but said he couldn’t gain enough weight, so he was moved to end. He’s been a good playmaker in a backup role the past two years, but now he’s moving back to the interior of the line as a starter.

“I love playing inside a lot more, just reacting and a lot less thinking,” Zettel said.

To gain all the weight, he’s eating a lot of protein shakes, beef jerky – which is high in protein – and a bunch of shakes throughout the day.

“Not the best food, not the worst food, just food in general,” he said.

So basically, he pretty much always has to be thinking of what he’s going to eat next.

Zettel is 6-foot-4 and said his broad shoulders and speed off the snap make him better suited for tackle. He believes speed is his best aspect and said he has been able to maintain that even after putting on so much weight.

His target weight for the season is 285, so once he gets here he might have to change