Ty Zentner’s journey to the NFL
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Most football players’ NFL dreams start when they’re little. But for Topeka native Ty Zentner, he didn’t hit the gridiron until he was a senior at Shawnee Heights.
Now six years later, he’s heading out to Philadelphia to start his NFL journey after signing with the Eagles.
”That’s the cool thing about football. You can have so many different backgrounds on a team, and different journeys to get to where we’re at,” Zentner said about his unique journey.
The K-State P/K played soccer his whole life, and continued it his senior year while also starting football. He soon started his collegiate football career at Butler Community College, and after two years got his opportunity in Manhattan.
He had no idea NFL opportunities would be on the horizon.
“For a while it just felt like it was so far away. Just coming out of Butler, and not really knowing how it was gonna go for me at Kansas State, whether I was gonna be a punter or a kicker,” he said.
After three years of punting, he ended up taking over kicking duties as well in his final year with the Wildcats. He never missed a single field goal or PAT attempt.
His most famous kick came in overtime of the Big 12 Championship, taking down TCU.
“When I was talking to other teams in the process, I had to remind a couple coaches like, ‘You know I’ve only been playing football for six years, so I feel like I have a lot of growth left in me,” he said.
Though he may have a lot of growth left in him, what he’s done so far has clearly been more than good enough. Almost immediately after the 2023 NFL Draft concluded, Ty signed with Philadelphia.
“The first team to contact me was the Eagles, and I heard from them the most throughout the whole process,” he said. “The whole time it just kinda looked like and felt like I was gonna be a member of the Eagles.”
He says he’s already feeling the love from their fanbase.
“Surprisingly there’s a lot of Eagles fans here in Kansas. So it’s cool to be able to chat with them, and I’ve heard a lot from Philadelphia Eagles fans that are out there so it’s been cool,” he said.
This Kansas kid is ready to head east and represent Topeka in the NFL.
“I just hope that I can be an inspiration to young Topeka athletes just about how to carry yourself on and off the field, and doing what’s right at all times, and it helps out in the end,” Ty said.
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