One of the principles this site was founded on is that you never know where the next great NFL superstar is going to come from in the college ranks. There are countless examples of high level prospects from premiere schools that flame out in a few years, while guys from small schools have the hunger to keep going and end up with longer and much more accomplished careers than those taken in the early days of draft weekend.
A few years ago we saw a defensive lineman, John Randle from Texas A&M-Kingsville, go into the Hall of Fame, and if you get a chance look up some of the guys that got drafted instead of him, such as Ray Agnew from North Carolina State who went tenth that year in round one and finished with 22.5 sacks compared to the 137.5 achieved by the undrafted John Randle.
Recently, I had the chance to talk with another talented, fast, and athletic defensive tackle in Montana State’s Zach Minter. Zach has that burst to create havoc and the speed to chase down any ball carrier in the backfield.
Footballdialogue: What is your official size, weight and max bench?
ZM: I am 6-0, 305 and last time I maxed bench I did 420.
Footballdialogue: I know in 2011 you were an All-American but 2012 was shortened by injury. How are you feeling now, and what exactly was the injury?
ZM: I rushed back from a hamstring injury too soon, but I am doing rehab and will make sure that I never run into that problem again.
Footballdialogue: How did you end up at Montana State? What other offers did you have coming out of high school?
ZM: I only played two years of high school football, but I played at the same high school as Jonathan Beasley (former Kansas State quarterback) and he was the wide receiver coach at the time at Montana State. Everyone in my hometown knows and admires Jonathan, so getting to know him made the choice easy.
Footballdialogue: Who was the best opponent you faced while in college?
ZM: The guys I faced my freshmen year when we went up against Michigan State were pretty rough.
Footballdialogue: I saw that you played point guard in high school. Did you play or was that your listed position, but you were on the bench?
ZM: I loved playing defense but averaged between 12 to 15 points a game. I had a nice quick first step and could dunk the basketball. I averaged five steals a game.
Footballdialogue: If a scout wanted to see you at your best, what game film would you give him?
ZM: Stone Brook and Eastern Washington this year.
Footballdialogue: What have you been doing to prepare for the draft? How do you like life on the East Coast?
ZM: I have been working out in Pittsburgh, getting stronger on all aspects of the game. As for the East Coast, it’s different just seeing the landscape of the buildings, the weather, and the rest of the stuff but I have been enjoying it.
Footballdialogue: What team or player was your favorite growing up?
ZM: I also loved watching Larry Fitzgerald play when I was in Arizona. As for defense, I also enjoyed watching James Harrison play. With regards to overall sports I always loved watching Allen Iverson play.
Footballdialogue: What is the best thing about Glendale, Arizona?
ZM: The suburb the kids at the park playing, as it was a very family orientated neighborhood.
What are your plans for after your football career ends?
Footballdialogue: What are your plans for after your football career ends?
ZM: To travel to Kenya to go to work at a children’s school and of course to get my master’s degree.
Footballdialogue: What day is your Pro Day?
ZM: March 18th
Footballdialogue: Can we follow you on twitter?
Pro Day Numbers: 31 bench. 34" vert 4.37 shuttle 9ft broad. 7.5 3-cone. (Didn't do 4 b/c of hamstring issue, but running Saturday in Seattle at regional combine).
Measured at 6014 and 300lbs.