As scandal swirls surrounding Michigan football, South Park three-star linebacker Zach Ludwig—who pledged to the Wolverines last November—discussed how he’s staying focused despite the buzz.
Michigan is the biggest story in college football right now for all the wrong reasons. They’re currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, but that lofty position is overshadowed by the fact that the NCAA is currently investigating allegations that the Wolverines sent staff members to scout upcoming opponents in person—which the league categorically prohibits—in order to collect video of and decode the hand signals associated with their play calls.
In talking about his ongoing communication with the Michigan coaching staff after South Park’s game against West Mifflin on Friday, Ludwig alluded to the developing scandal surrounding the program.
“There’s not that much talk [with coaches right now],” Ludwig said. “Me and the other recruits, we’re just trying to keep a good head, trying to keep level and keep moving forward. Stay positive with all that’s going on.”
As he continues to move forward, Zach Ludwig discussed what he wants to improve. Middle linebackers often play a hybrid role, dropping back into coverage in addition to blitzing. Ludwig said he specifically wants to improve his ability to attack opposing backfields.
“I’d like to try to make my explosion faster, off the ball and try to get in the backfield faster. I’d like to try not to have the lineman engage as much with me,” Ludwig said. “There’s always something to work on. I’m a high school student, so I’m always working, pushing myself harder each and every day. There’s a lot of things for me to work on as a person on the field.”
Beyond his duties at middle linebacker—a position often considered the quarterback of the defense because of their role in communicating plays—Ludwig serves as the Eagles’ actual quarterback. Ludwig taking snaps helps him understand the quarterback position better, improving his ability to anticipate how opposing signal callers might react.
“When I’m back there, [it] helps me see the defense, and I know what the quarterback is thinking when I’m on defense as a linebacker,” Ludwig said. “So that helps me out, whether to drop or whether to go.”