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College football: Zwinggi’s zig-zags hold key for Texas State Bobcats
Web Posted: 08/25/2007 11:22 PM CDT
Jerry Briggs
San Antonio Express-News

The wait is over for Stan Zwinggi. Finally, the Texas State junior is about to begin a season as his team’s starting tailback. It’s a role that he has craved since 2003, his senior season as a standout running back at Fredericksburg.

“I’ve been waiting my whole career to do this,” Zwinggi says.

His excitement is understandable. Zwinggi was redshirted and didn’t play at all as a freshman in 2004. In 2005, when the Bobcats reached the NCAA playoffs, he was a little-used wide receiver. Last season Texas State coaches moved him to tailback. Even though he opened the season behind Daniel Jolly and Alvin Canady on the depth chart, Zwinggi won the starting job by the sixth game.

He never relinquished it. Zwinggi led the team with 735 yards rushing while averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

“He is the fastest guy on our football team and is one of the fastest guys in the conference,” Texas State quarterback Bradley George says. “To me, he’s an all-conference running back. I think he’s going to have a breakout season this year.”

It isn’t clear how much of the tailback load that Zwinggi (6-foot, 190 pounds) will carry.

Canady will play a significant role, and others could see some time, depending on situations. But Brad Wright, Texas State’s first-year head coach, says he wants Zwinggi on the field as much as possible. Wright recalls what Zwinggi did last fall in the Bobcats’ finale at Sam Houston State. He finished with 272 all-purpose yards, including two touchdowns.

One score was an 80-yard catch-and-run of a screen pass.

“He’s just hard-nosed,” Wright says. “He played half a game with a broken hand against Sam Houston and didn’t tell anybody. He had it wrapped and elected to stay in until the end.” “I tell you, it wasn’t the catch that was impressive,” George says. “It was the run afterward. He broke about three tackles. He showed that he could outrun everyone, too.”

More than anything, Zwinggi says, he wants the Bobcats to reclaim their status as one of the top teams in the Southland Conference. Texas State tied for the conference title in 2005 and then fell to fourth place last season.

“To see your name on that starting row, it’s a big deal to me,” Zwinggi says. “It gives me incentive to work harder.”