41 Days: A Look Back At All-Big Ten Kicker Zoltan Mesko

With 41 days left until the return or Michigan football we look back the impressive two time first team All- Big Ten kicker, Zoltan Mesko. Born in Romania, he emigrated with his family to the United States and eventually to Ohio where he was quickly discovered by many division one football programs, including USC and Michigan. Below are his career highlights and achievements:

College

  • As redshirt junior in 2008, Mesko went through a coaching change, became Michigan’s all-time leader in punts and punting yardage, and was named to 2008 All-Big Ten first-team.
  • As a fifth-year senior in 2009, he made a number of preseason All-American teams and achieved the highest punting average of his college career at 44.5 yards per punt.
  • As a senior, he also entered the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season opener with the most career starts (38) on the 2009 Michigan Wolverines football team.
  • He served as the first special teams performer to be captain in the 130-year history of Michigan football.
  • In 2009, was was a Guy Award watchlist candidate for the Wolverines as Co-Captain of the team.
  • He was a 2009 Allstate Good Works Team honoree for his outstanding civic contributions to the local community and a 2009 Lowe’s Senior Class Award Finalist for classroom, community, character and competition excellence.
  • On 31 December 2009, he one of 22 players recognized as a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which rewards public service and volunteer work.
  • He concluded his season as a 2009 All-Big Ten first-team selection by both the coaches and the media.
  • He was also selected as a first-team Academic All-American and as a second-team All-American by several publications.
  • He holds the career and single-season records for punts and punting yards at Michigan.

NFL

  • He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the first punter or placekicker drafted and the second Wolverine drafted (Graham was the first) in the 2010 draft.
  • He set an NFL rookie record for net punting yard average.
  • NFL career: New England Patriots (2010–2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013), Cincinnati Bengals (2013)
  • NFL stats: Punt long: 65, Punting yard average: 43.9, Net punting yard average: 39.0

Zoltan will be remembered as one of the most impressive kickers in Michigan football history.

Go Blue!

David Noe