Packers give NCAA’s all-time receptions leader a tryout

AP

The NCAA’s all-time leader in receptions wasn’t drafted and wasn’t even offered a contract as an undrafted free agent, but he will be given an opportunity to show he belongs in the NFL.

Michael Zweifel of the University of Dubuque, who caught an all-time, all-division record of 463 passes in his college career, will participate in the Packers’ upcoming rookie camp.

I’m just excited to get a chance to play and show what I can do,” Zweifel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be there. I know the speed of the game will be faster. But I’m just really excited.”

For Zweifel, a player to model himself after could be Danny Woodhead, who set NCAA records at Division II Chadron State but didn’t look the part of an NFL player and wasn’t drafted. Woodhead got a chance with the Jets, stuck around a couple years there and has since become an important contributor to the Patriots’ offense.

After playing two seasons at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, Zweifel transferred to the University of Dubuque when his father became the head coach there. In 2011 Zweifel caught 140 passes for 1,915 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he won the Gagliardi Trophy as the best player in Division III college football.

35 responses to “Packers give NCAA’s all-time receptions leader a tryout

  1. Beyond me why any non-drafted WR would sign with GB considering their depth. Even if they cut Driver they have Tori Gurley waiting in the wings.

  2. “Zweifel transferred to the University of Dubuque when his father became the head coach there.”

    LOL. 1st Down… throw it to Michael. 2nd Down… Umm, throw it to Michael. 3rd Down… the best play is to throw it to Michael. 4th Down… Fake Punt Throw to Michael.

  3. Was born and raised in Dubuque Iowa. U of D. football is like souped up hs football,,,nice try though Packers

  4. aberamsey says:
    Apr 30, 2012 9:37 AM
    Beyond me why any non-drafted WR would sign with GB considering their depth. Even if they cut Driver they have Tori Gurley waiting in the wings.
    ============

    Did it sound to you like he had a lot of options?

  5. “Beyond me why any non-drafted WR would sign with GB considering their depth. Even if they cut Driver they have Tori Gurley waiting in the wings.”

    Because the Packers do a really good job of developing their players. Even if he eventually gets on the practice squad. Plus, maybe he’s a Packer’s fan, and if he had once chance, that’s who he’d pick to try out for.

    Good luck to the kid, always nice to root for an underdog, even if he’s a dreaded Packer.

  6. Funny thing is, Zweifel means doubt in german…

    So I zweifel that he will make the Packers team…

  7. Chances are he won’t make the roster, but if the kid can play special teams he may have a shot. I bet his work ethic is through the roof.

  8. Simply a PR stunt.

    It goes FBS, FCS, Div II or NAIA, CFL, AFL, UFL, XFL, community league, Div III. Ok maybe I exagerated a little, but while Div 3 may have some sports that mean something, football is not one of them. It’s simply somewhere you can continue to play meaningful organized football, and I mean that in a good way. Especially if you transfered to a Div III college to play for your dad… doesn’t look good.

    This is why he didn’t get invited to somewhere that is actually trying to find possible FA WRs.

  9. @ mvp43 says:

    Apr 30, 2012 11:02 AM
    Chances are he won’t make the roster, but if the kid can play special teams he may have a shot. I bet his work ethic is through the roof.
    _________________

    I bet he has a high motor and a high Football IQ too (sarcasm)

  10. It’s pretty awesome to see a guy from one of my hometown schools get an opportunity like this. Who knows he might just find his way onto a practice squad he was ridiculous for UD.

    p.s. If pvy is actually born and raised in Dubuque then I’d just like to apologize on behalf of everyone back home.

  11. Since MDS didn’t bother including Zweifel’s stats:

    Zweifel (6-1 190) ran the 40-yard dash in a pedestrian 4.56 seconds, but his vertical jump was 35 inches and his time in the three-cone drill was 6.52 seconds. The average time in the three-cone for receivers who were invited to the combine was 6.94.

  12. purpleguy says:
    Apr 30, 2012 10:59 AM
    He played in Iowa — how long are his arms?

    Doesn’t need long arms with Rodgers throwing him the ball.

  13. They were 9-2 so if they were forcing it to him, it didn’t hurt team success.

    As to whether Div III is relevant to the NFL, there have been very notable success stories like Pierre Garcon, Fred Jackson, London Fletcher, and others (>10 on NFL rosters in some capacity in the past 2 years)

    If you go further back you find very long and successful careers, such as Pete Metzelaars, starting TE on the 4 Buffalo super bowl teams, I think in fact he started more games at TE than any player in NFL history.

  14. I’m 100% behind Michael. He’ll be trying so hard that it will be off the top of the scale on effort. Wish I could see it. Wish I could buy a bottle of the passion he’s going to have.

    It’s a heart-warming story. Not that many NFL stories are heart-warming. Praise the Lord for this heart-warming episode.

    I’m over 60 years old and if the Packers called me for a workout, I’d be there 45 minutes early. (I’m in decent shape, jog and all that, but someone would have to show me how to put on the pads.)

    Trying out on Nitschke Field would be a mountain-top experience for me. If the Bears or Vikings invited me, I wouldn’t go.
    .

  15. I know the guy and played with him. I was only the kicker but he was my holder and I will tell you he is one of the most athletic people I have ever met. He literally can do it all on the football field. He has great rout running ability, is super intelligent, he can play corner, he can return punts, he can punt, kick, hold, and snap. I even watched him beet our qb in a little fun throwing competition. And yes he was force fed the ball but its not like that was his choice, he was just good enough to take advantage of all the touches he got. Trust me he will make an impact on any team in the NFL and for the record he is a bears fan!!

  16. thepvyharvin says:
    Apr 30, 2012 9:48 AM
    Was born and raised in Dubuque Iowa. U of D. football is like souped up hs football,,,nice try though Packers
    ______________________________

    Come on, you know he’ll be one of the Vikings 5 WR they have on their roster after the Pack cuts him in training camp!

  17. boswivel says:
    Apr 30, 2012 12:24 PM

    Why must they always compare short, slow, white WRs to other short, slow, white WRs.

    It really gets my goat!
    _________________________________________
    Who would you suggest “they” compare him to,
    Ocho Cinco?
    Plaxico ( AKA plexico) Burress?
    Chris Henry?

    BTW it gets my goat, too.

  18. Div III whatever, the guy caught 140 balls and 25 touchdowns. You know this kid is going to leave it all out on the field.

    He will make the most of his opportunity, I hope he makes the team.

  19. agelardi says: Apr 30, 2012 9:41 AM
    Father was the HC, no wonder he caught so many passes.
    ——————————————–
    His father MIGHT have been able to control how many passes were THROWN to him, but I doubt he helped him catch any! And while winning the Gagliardi Trophy isn’t exactly the Heisman, it is the Division III equivalent. This kid must have something to bring to the table.

  20. howiehandles says: Apr 30, 2012 9:54 AM

    “Beyond me why any non-drafted WR would sign with GB considering their depth. Even if they cut Driver they have Tori Gurley waiting in the wings.”

    Because the Packers do a really good job of developing their players
    ——————————

    Right. Of course they do. Just ask Justin Harrel, Brandon Jackson, Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood, Aaron Rouse, or Abdul Hodge…… How are David Clowney and Cory Rodgers doing these days?

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