Could LSU Punter Zach Von Rosenberg Return in 2021 as a Sixth Year Senior?

Von Rosenberg hopeful for an opportunity in the NFL after successful career at LSU
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LSU punter Zach Von Rosenberg faces a difficult decision after this season. Von Rosenberg's story has been well documented by now, the former baseball pitcher who was drafted out of high school, spent six years in the minor leagues only to come to LSU to be the punter on the football team.

The fifth-year senior has been the team's primary punter for four years and has been a part of a coaching change, a national championship and now a young, inexperienced team looking to find its way. At 30 years old, Von Rosenberg is the butt of many jokes inside the locker room from teammates and coaches alike. 

"Almost every player on the team messes with me on how long I've been here," Von Rosenberg said. "I hear it from equipment managers, even coach O. Everybody calls me old man, grandpa but I have no complaints. I won a national championship last year, got to play with some of the best players in the NFL and built relationships that'll last a lifetime."

It's why he's facing a decision after the season that isn't as easy as one might think. The NCAA granted all fall student-athletes an extra year of eligibility if they so choose and Von Rosenberg is seriously contemplating whether or not he will return in 2021. 

He's established himself as one of the great punters in the SEC and in LSU's history. This season in particular, you could argue that Von Rosenberg has been the most consistent part of this LSU 2020 team, averaging 46 yards per punt and pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line 11 times in three games. 

"That's still a decision I have to make but I've been here five years so what's another year right?" Von Rosenberg said. "It's been a dream, I know I need to get my life in order but right now I'm living the dream here at LSU."

Von Rosenberg gets it from his older friends as well, who are well out of college and in the business world. They tell him that they live vicariously through him and joke with Von Rosenberg that an opportunity to play college football at 31 is not something he should turn away.

"The business world can wait, you can work 30 years at a job but you can't play six years of college football again," Von Rosenberg said. "They heckle me a good bit and how I'm the oldest player in college football history."

The goal after college, whether it's after this season or next, is to hopefully earn a spot on an NFL roster, whether it's through the draft or as an undrafted free agent. He undoubtedly has the talent to be a punter at the next level but whether an organization would want to take a chance on a 30-year-old is another question all together. 

"If I got drafted, I'd probably cry," Von Rosenberg said. "I don't know if a team is going to take a risk like that. I know somebody will take a chance on me in free agency and beat out a guy but being a draft pick would be a dream come true."