LSU punter Zach Von Rosenberg, at age 30, says it’s finally time to chase an NFL dream

PHOTO by Chris Parent

LSU senior punter Zach Von Rosenberg, college football’s oldest player at 30 years, tweeted Sunday after five years in the Tigers’ program he will enter the NFL draft.

And then he tweeted “It took me three days to post this.”

That’s how much Rosenberg loved playing for the Tigers, resurrecting an athletic career after six injury-filled years as a minor league baseball pitcher came to an end in April 2015.

“LSU will always be a part of me,” Von Rosenberg tweeted. “I will cherish these memories and the friends I’ve made forever. There is nothing like a Saturday night in Death Valley inhabited by a hundred thousand rabid Purple and Gold fans! And there is no energy like Tiger Stadium energy. It truly is a one-of-kind experience and that is what college football is all about.”

He was accepted as an LSU walk-on, tried tight end and gravitated to punter which he played at Zachary High. He emerged as the Tigers’ starting punter in 2018 and the last two seasons handled all the punting .

His career average of 44.2 yards on 157 punts ranks second in LSU history behind Brad Wing’s 44.58 average set in 2011-12. He never had a punt blocked.

He finished his final season ranked 23rd nationally with an average of 43.95 yards per punt and led the SEC in punts downed inside the 20-yard line with 27. He also led the league in punts of 50-plus yards with 18. He averaged 43.9 yards on 59 punts and was twice named the Ray Guy National Punter of the Week in 2020.

The second time he earned the award was after his punting was critical to LSU’s success in a 27-24 win at Arkansas. Five of his seven punts were downed inside the 10-yard line. In the second half alone, Von Rosenberg had punts downed at the 9, 5, 8 and 7-yard lines. He also had a punted downed at the 8-yard line in the first quarter.

For the game, Von Rosenberg averaged 48.9 yards on seven punts with a long of 61 yards. Arkansas did not return any of his punts and the Tigers had a net punting average of 48.9 yards.

Von Rosenberg was a second team All-SEC selection in 2020 and 2018.

LSU will also miss Von Rosenberg as the Tigers’ placekick holder, a job he held the last three seasons when LSU placekickers made 68 of 81 field goals and 167 of 171 extra points. He never mishandled a single snap.

Von Rosenberg could have returned for a sixth season, a second senior year, which the NCAA has granted for all seniors due to the coronavirus pandemic. But he’s decided it’s time to try and win a job in the NFL in which at the start of this season he was older than 15 of the league’s 32 punters.

He has accepted an invitation to play in the Hula Bowl on Jan. 31.

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