September 23, 2021
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond in The Rough: Zachary Pleuss

Zachary Pleuss is a class of 2023 QB for Ridge Community Highschool in Davenport, FL. He is listed at 5’11, weighs 160, and has a 3.9 GPA. Zachary has a very high football IQ, makes good decisions, has great pocket awareness, always keeps his eyes downfield, and throws an accurate ball even on the run. What’s most impressive is that his head is in the right place at such a young age (just turned 16 this month) and he truly understands what it means to be a student-athlete.

click here to watch Zachary’s highlights

How long have you been playing football? I’ve been playing football for about nine years now.

How would your coaches and teammates describe you? My coaches and teammates would describe me as very hardworking, a good leader, and always willing to help a teammate put in extra work.

What is something colleges should know about you? Something colleges should know about me is that I am a very hardworking individual on and off the field. I take my education very seriously, and I am very loyal to my school. When I pick a school to go to I, want to feel like I’m part of a community, not just another athlete.

What kind of passes do you enjoy throwing the most? My favorite passes to throw are posts and digs.

What goes through your mind pre-snap? I have my mind set on two things pre-snap, what coverage are they in and who is going to be open based on the answer to the first question?

Download Gridiron football app today

How do you handle pressure? I am very composed under pressure due to my training and confidence in my abilities. I pride myself in making the right decisions, and if I happen to make a mistake, its on to the next play.

What would you bring to the table for a college team? I’d like to think I would bring leadership and be able to talk to my fellow teammates to help them remain calm in high-pressure situations. I think my playing style and ability to make plays from the pocket as well as on the run would be an asset to the offense.

What is the most rewarding part about playing QB? As the quarterback of the team, you are always looked at as the leader of not only the offense but the team as a whole. I take that role very seriously and hold my teammates to the same standards that I hold myself. As the quarterback, you get the credit for the win but also the blame for the loss, and you have to be able to handle each one in the proper manner. I think I do that very well.

What is your favorite part about playing QB? My favorite part about playing quarterback is definitely being the captain of the team as well as needing to learn not just my own job but everyone else’s. It challenges my football IQ each day. I like to be a leader and make sure that if someone is doing something wrong, I can keep them in check.

How do you gain trust and control of the offense? The best way to gain trust and control of an offense is being a good leader. Show the team that you are not selfish and you are there to help the team win and to be the first one to learn the plays and help everyone that is struggling.

What are you doing to get better? I do a lot of things to get better. I have a set workout regimen for every day of the week as well as a QB-specific training on Sunday’s. I also take place in speed and conditioning training during the weekends. Every day after practice me and my wide receivers stay after to work on routes and timing as well.

Do you have a game day ritual? I always make sure that I wear my swag. Look good, feel good, play good. And the next one is kinda nasty, but I don’t wash my hands on game day before the game.

Is there anything you would like to throw out there for people to know? One thing I would like people to know is that not everyone goes D1. At the end of the day, if someone is offering you money to continue your education, take it. Regardless if it’s D1, D2, D3, or NAIA. The transfer portal is out of control because of people making bad decisions and not willing to fight for a position on a team that they are on. Anything worth having is worth fighting for.

Would you consider yourself more of a dual-threat or pocket passer? At the moment, I am listed as a pro-style quarterback, but that had more to do with my coach’s decision to help me grow within our offense as a first-time varsity starter as a sophomore. We had a very strong running game; however, with graduations this season I will be taking on more of a role in the read-option. Too many guys are reffered to as dual-threat, in my opinion, a dual-threat means you can pass like a QB as well as continue plays with your feet.

What stands out about your arm the most (strength, accuracy, touch, etc.)? The traits that stand out about my arm is strength, quick release, velocity, and accuracy. I had more than a 65% completion percentage and I can currently throw the ball 71 yards.