NORTH CAROLINA ELITE FOOTBALL

Zielinski Is Coming On Strong

By George Yarberry
EFN National Director
Published: 06/19/2014

Last year at this time, Brighton’s 6-foot-6 two-sport athlete, Alexx Zielinski, thought that he was going to be a college baseball player. The tall left-handed pitcher picked up six Division 1 offers right after his sophomore season. He spent the entire summer playing travel baseball and he was making a name for himself as one of the best pitching prospects in Michigan.

As summer ended and football season started up, Zielinski began playing his second varsity season on the gridiron. He viewed football as a secondary sport to baseball, and just wanted to have fun playing the game and working toward a common goal with his teammates.

He started his junior season with more confidence, having a year of varsity experience under his belt, and a better understanding of his responsibilities playing his position. Zielinski plays tight end and was weighing in at 205-pounds.

Zielinski started the regular season off strong, making a few catches and doing well blocking in their run oriented first offense. Brighton only completed 38 passes the entire 2013 football season. As the season went on, Zielinski was getting better each day and his love for football was building.

He became a team leader, one of their top run blockers and ended the season as the team’s leading receiver with 15 catches for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. He earned 1st Team All-Conference and All-County honors. At this point, his focus shifted from wanting to play baseball in college to pursuing football.

Alexx’s dad, Steve, started researching some of the best high school tight ends, and came across Matt Sokol, a Michigan State commit from Rochester Adams. He didn’t know Sokol and had never met him. He saw that he was a high school quarterback, but his off-season workouts as a tight end helped him land several scholarship offers and eventually Michigan State.

Sokol did positional training and played on Michigan Elite Football Club’s travel 7v7 team during his last two off-seasons before his senior year. Steve Zielinski wanted his son to take a similar path with his off-season workouts. Alexx tried out for Michigan Elite’s 7v7 team in January and made the team. He has been training and working out with them for the last five months. He focused on his route running, technique as a receiver, and getting stronger.

He had a successful off-season competing in several exposure camps and regional 7v7 tournaments. He has been a standout at each event and his confidence is growing. He is also developing physically weighing in at 225-pounds. He realizes now that he can compete and fits right in with the top prospects.

Zielinski will hit the football college camp circuit hard during the summer. He missed the first couple of weeks of the camp season with baseball playoffs. He ended up earning All-State honors. Alexx attended Duke and North Carolina State’s football camps this past weekend. He will also camp at Toledo, Indiana, Central Michigan, Miami Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Ball State.

Between now and signing day, we expect Alexx to surpass the number of baseball offers he has received to date with football opportunities. He is an excellent prospect to whom football coaches will pay close attention as he makes the rounds this summer.