Junior punter Zach Von Rosenberg celebrated his 29th birthday on Sept. 29, making him one of the oldest football players in the NCAA this season.
At 29, Von Rosenberg has experienced a lot more than your average college football player, whether it’s the grind of minor league baseball, or being on the cusp of 30 years old.
Von Rosenberg was born in 1990, just one year after LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady was born. Freshman kicker Cade York was born in 2001, around the same time that Von Rosenberg was starting middle school.
“It’s definitely kind of weird, seeing all of these guys that were born in 2000, 2001, but it’s not too weird,” Von Rosenberg said.
“Now we’re recruiting guys for the 2020/21 class and they were born in 2003. It’s time for me to leave.”
Von Rosenberg said this jokingly, but it really is no joke that he’s among a rare group of players who landed something other than football right out of high school, than made the jump to collegiate football afterward.
Coming out of high school, Von Rosenberg considered playing baseball for LSU, but decided to go straight to the pros and spent six years in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. After being released by the Pirates, Von Rosenberg decided to go to the school he almost played baseball for. Von Rosenberg joined the football team as a tight end before moving to punter.
Through his first two seasons at LSU, Von Rosenberg shared punting duties with former Tiger Josh Growden, but managed to average 44.6 yards per punt.
Becoming accustomed to typically having at least three to four punts per game, Von Rosenberg has had to get used to not being deployed as often with the Tigers' high-scoring and highly efficient offense. Even though he shared punts with Growden for his first two seasons, Von Rosenberg still punted the ball 87 times.
“In pregame it’s a little different just because I’m now doing a lot more reps than I would in the past seasons, Von Rosenberg said. “Now that the offense is scoring on basically their first three drives every game, I know that I’m not really going to be getting as much work.”
Before having five punts in the Tigers' 66-38 win over Vanderbilt, Von Rosenberg had only six total punts in LSU’s first three games. Through LSU’s first three games in 2018, he punted the ball 13 times.
While Von Rosenberg hasn’t had as much work this season, he’s still been subject to the infamous antics of strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, who in his 19th season with the Tigers, apparently hasn’t slowed down one bit.
“He loves breaking chairs, that’s just fun, I like that,” Von Rosenberg said. “The [Texas] game was really fun, especially with all of the other things that happened besides the actual game. Sometimes it just depends on the mood of the team, but also how many energy drinks he’s had.
“The strength staff were drinking so many that the team nutritionist had to tell them to stop drinking them.”
Whether it’s watching the Tigers offense evolve or Moffitt break chairs, Von Rosenberg has had a front row seat for all of the weird and amazing things that can happen on the LSU football team.