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

zweifel 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.

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35 Responses to “Packers give NCAA’s all-time receptions leader a tryout”
  1. mvp43 says: Apr 30, 2012 9:29 AM

    Go get ‘em Michael…we’re rooting for you!

    140 receptions in 1 year….wow

  2. joeyballgame4 says: Apr 30, 2012 9:32 AM

    funny, the lions told me that ryan broyles held the ncaa record for receptions

  3. 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.

  4. agelardi says: Apr 30, 2012 9:41 AM

    Father was the HC, no wonder he caught so many passes.

  5. N JAIL U MY HOE says: Apr 30, 2012 9:41 AM

    “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.

  6. qmizzle says: Apr 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    @aberamsey maybe the chance to be in the NFL? Iunno…

  7. 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

  8. realitypolice says: Apr 30, 2012 9:48 AM

    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?

  9. mybrunoblog says: Apr 30, 2012 9:50 AM

    I doubt he makes the roster but it would be a great story if he did. Good luck kid.

  10. 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. 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.

  11. lovemyqueens says: Apr 30, 2012 9:59 AM

    Glad to see him at least get a try out.

    – Vikings fan

  12. realdealsteel says: Apr 30, 2012 10:45 AM

    Why couldn’t this guy go to a team that needs wide receivers? Like the Jaguars or Rams?

  13. purpleguy says: Apr 30, 2012 10:59 AM

    He played in Iowa — how long are his arms?

  14. luckynumberlucas says: Apr 30, 2012 11:00 AM

    Funny thing is, Zweifel means doubt in german…

    So I zweifel that he will make the Packers team…

  15. 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.

  16. unionslie says: Apr 30, 2012 11:13 AM

    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.

  17. unionslie says: Apr 30, 2012 11:17 AM

    @ 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)

  18. wangchungish312 says: Apr 30, 2012 11:26 AM

    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.

  19. bubbaone says: Apr 30, 2012 11:30 AM

    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.

  20. fritz1218 says: Apr 30, 2012 11:34 AM

    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.

  21. all4patriots says: Apr 30, 2012 11:40 AM

    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.

  22. Erik Peterson says: Apr 30, 2012 11:40 AM

    There are some decent Div. III football players, Pierre Garcon was Div. III after all. Glad he’s getting a shot at least.

  23. packerfanfordecades says: Apr 30, 2012 11:41 AM

    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.
    .

  24. billmead1976 says: Apr 30, 2012 11:44 AM

    “…there’s no call for a 5′ 10″ white cornerback in the nfl..”

    Stef (Tom Cruise)
    All the Right Move (1982)

  25. jcowhey says: Apr 30, 2012 12:23 PM

    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!!

  26. 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!

  27. theodorethompson says: Apr 30, 2012 12:50 PM

    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!

  28. wwwfugu says: Apr 30, 2012 1:58 PM

    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.

  29. xx4zu1 says: Apr 30, 2012 2:03 PM

    He played for his daddy of course he leads in receiving. Considering his last name means doubt good luck with that one.

  30. cleonslamminsalmon says: Apr 30, 2012 2:45 PM

    I guess I don’t see the point of criticizing a kid who’s getting a chance of a life time. Vikings fans really that bitter because their team is leaving?

    Go Pack Go!

  31. linemanguy74 says: Apr 30, 2012 3:36 PM

    Can he catch passes in playoff games ???????????

  32. lgwelsh1 says: Apr 30, 2012 3:44 PM

    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.

  33. houndog50 says: Apr 30, 2012 5:34 PM

    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.

  34. brewdogg says: May 3, 2012 12:19 AM

    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?

  35. detroitlionsnfl says: May 12, 2012 8:39 PM

    I caught 400 passes against my son’s third grade team last year. I didn’t get drafted either.

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