OverThePylon has been fortunate this offseason to sit down with some of the best and brightest new recruits for the Cardinals. And frankly, with recruits like these in the earliest of stages of their Cardinal career, the future looks excessively bright for the Cardinal and White.
Today's guest is Zane Fakes. The 6'3" 235lb. tight end, formerly of Plainfield High School, now finds himself in an offense that made Darius Hill a household name and an NFL free agent signee. This will be a small transition for Fakes, as he spent his high school career dominating the opposition from the tailback position, amassing over 2200 yards on the ground. Expect this young man to find a home on the field in very short time, and once that happens, watch out.
OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
ZaneFakes: Overall my experiences were very fun. I enjoyed the attention I got from all schools. Although it was not very much. I got the standard letters that all players get. I would say out of the D1 programs Ball State, IU, and Purdue gave me the most attention. Coach Faulkner was my main recruiter. He is a great guy and always had faith in me. I really only considered going to BSU or University of Indianapolis, a D2 program that my older brother plays for.
OTP: You've been mentioned as potentially moving to the tight-end position, but you were a stellar halfback in high school. What are you hearing from the coaching staff in terms of where you'll be playing next fall?
ZF: I will be playing at the tight end spot. They will use me as a guy that moves behind the line of scrimmage more than a hand in the dirt kind of guy.
OTP: As a player, how does it motivate you to hear the MAC and BSU generally disrespected by every major national service?
ZF: It gives me and the whole team motivation to prove them wrong. This team is going in the right direction to do that.
OTP: The offseason has been a transitional period for BSU, with a coaching change, a ton of talent leaving, etc. How did that sit with you as a future Cardinal? Any worries or thoughts about not coming?
ZF: I was just happy to earn a scholarship from a school. The ball was not really in my court to decide to stay committed or leave. I was offered in the winter after the coaching change was made. It had no effect on my decision. Coach Parrish is a great coach and an even better guy.
OTP: This incoming recruiting class has been widely heralded as the best class in years at BSU. Have you had any contact with other incoming recruits? Is the class going to gel?
ZF: I've had contact with a few of them before this summer, but now that the whole class is at BSU working out I am getting to know many of them. I think this class will gel very nicely. We all like to win and work hard.
OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
ZF: I am majoring in exercise science. I am looking forward to academics. It is the most important thing because it will get me on my way to a good career and life.
OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
ZF: I really do not have any unusual hobbies or talents. I just stick to school and football.
From our readers...
Readers: Can you tell us what you think will be the hardest thing adjusting to in playing in the MAC and for BSU?
ZF: The hardest thing will definitely be adjusting to the speed and strength of the players. Also learning that I won't be one of the best on the field this year. Hopefully that changes in the next few years.
Readers: Can you compare you high school coach Brian Woodard to your new head coach in Stan Parrish?
ZF: Brian Woodard is one of my favorite people I know. He is a great coach. His intensity and ability to joke around with his players while getting things done are the best things about him. I have not really had a chance to interact with Coach Parrish as a football coach. I am sure he is one of the best!
Readers: Are you on campus and practicing yet? What has been the biggest change in terms of working out or practice?
ZF: I am on campus lifting, running, and doing 7 on 7 workouts. The biggest change is how hard everyone works. I thought I worked hard in high school, then I came to BSU and it was a whole different world. I am getting used to the level of intensity. It is becoming fun.
Finally, one last one from OTP...
OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years, Zane?
ZF: Enjoy the show that the entire team is going to put on in my next four years!
Big thanks to Zane for taking some time out to field some questions from us and our readers. Like those before him his answers revealed not only football insight regarding himself and the Cardinals, but truly show a student athlete that is committed to winning, academics, and doing it better than most every other major college football player. Best of luck, Zane!!