Following his six tackles – two for loss, and a sack in Eastern Michigan’s 31-6 loss to the Akron University Zips, linebacker Anthony Zappone was named the Eastern Echo’s Eagle of the Week.
His reaction isn’t what you would expect.
“I thought I didn’t do as well as I did when the stats came out, but in the end that really doesn’t matter to me,” Zappone said. “It matters if we get the win or not.”
His coaches think very highly of him as a football player.
“I think Zappone’s a great football player,” coach Chris Creighton said after the game Saturday. “I think he’s a leader in our program and going to become more than that.”
“Anthony wants to do everything at a high level and he’s getting to that point at the inside linebacker position,” defensive coordinator Brad McCaslin said at the team’s weekly news conference on Monday.
The redshirt sophomore has played in all five games for Eastern this year. He has 31 total tackles (14 solo, 17 assist) and 2.5 tackles for loss. Zappone also has a sack and a forced fumble (that he recovered).
Zappone has also earned the respect of his teammates – including senior offensive lineman Lincoln Hansen, who Zappone said he looks up to.
“[He’s] a great leader for our defense [and has] great energy out there,” Hansen said. “I’ve just seen him grow into this defense and really become a part of it – become a real central driver for our defense out there.”
The offensive captain said Zappone is an intense player – even at a time when he couldn’t play.
“It was two years ago, I think – he had shoulder surgery,” Hansen said. “We’ve got guys rumbling around during practice a little bit and he’s right in the mix of it. He’s got his sling on and everything...he doesn’t care – one arm or two arms, he’s right there in the mix.”
Watch the full interview with Zappone here
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho