Honors & Awards
A second-team All-Big Eight selection on the field as a senior, playing alongside Outland Trophy winner Zach Wiegert and first-team All-Americans Brendan Stai and Aaron Graham (1995), Zatechka helped lead a dominant rushing attack that led the nation with 340 yards per game on the ground, while ranking fifth nationally with 477.8 yards per game in total offense. He started every game at left tackle as a senior, including Nebraska's win over Miami in the Orange Bowl in 1994.
Off the field, the 6-5, 315-pounder earned more than $50,000 in postgraduate scholarship money, including the Vincent DePaul Draddy Scholarship ($25,000) presented to the nation's top football student-athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, and the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship ($20,000) awarded to the nation's top football senior scholar. He was also an NCAA Today's Top Eight Award winner, while being named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for football.
A three-time CoSIDA Academic All-America, Zatechka won first-team academic All-America awards in both 1993 and 1994. He was named the Woody Hayes Scholar-Athlete and was a NACDA/Disney Scholar-Athlete, which earned him another $5,000 toward his postgraduate academic pursuits.
A four-time Phillips 66 Academic All-Big Eight selection, Zatechka shared the Big Eight Male Athlete-of-the-Year award and became the first Nebraska student-athlete in history to win the University of Nebraska's Male Student Leader-of-the-Year honor in 1993. He earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in May of 1994, playing his senior season with degree in hand.
After helping the Huskers to their first national championship since 1971, Zatechka was selected in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He spent four seasons with the Giants from 1995 through 1998.
Zatechka helped lead the Huskers to a final No. 3 ranking in rushing offense (287.9 ypg) and a No. 5 national ranking in scoring offense (38.3 ppg), as NU amassed 425 total yards per game.
Off the field, Zatechka captured first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, after claiming All-District VII and academic All-Big Eight honors. Zatechka joined teammates Trev Alberts and Terry Connealy as first-team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, while Ken Mehlin added second-team honors for the Huskers in 1993.
Redshirt Freshman (1991)
Against Oklahoma on Nov. 29, Zatechka threw possibly the biggest block of Nebraska's season, clearing the way for another freshman - I-back Calvin Jones - to gain four yards on 4th-and-1 at the Oklahoma 19 in the closing minutes. On the next play, Jones scored the winning touchdown in NU's 19-14 victory. One of the Huskers' top scholars, Zatechka earned Phillips 66 Academic All-Big Eight honors.
His ability on the field helped the Huskers claim their seventh NCAA rushing title in 12 years by rolling to 353.2 yards per game on the ground, while also averaging 153.3 passing yards per game - NU's best total since Vince Ferragamo was at quarterback. Nebraska led the Big Eight and ranked third nationally in both total offense (506.5 yards per game) and scoring offense (41.3 yards per game).
Zatechka's Career Statistics