57 Zach Larsen
2007: Appeared in 11 games and started the last six at middle linebacker. Named the co-winner of the team's Most Improved Award for 2007, and developed into a big play man for the NIU defense. Made all of his 59 tackles in the last seven games of the season to average 8.43 tackles per game during that stretch. Had three double-digit tackle days in the last six games. Finished the year ranked seventh on the team in tackles and was the team leader with two fumbles forced and two recovered. Posted 3.5 tackles for loss with two sacks. Forced a fumble and made four tackles at Temple (10-6) in his first extensive experience at linebacker. Led NIU and set a career-high with 13 tackles and a forced fumble vs. Western Michigan (10-13). Tallied 10 tackles at Wisconsin (10-20). Made eight stops, one for loss, at Toledo (10-27). Totaled six tackles and recovered a fumble vs. Kent State (11-10). Recorded eight tackles at Navy (11-17). Racked up 10 tackles, including two sacks, and forced a fumble vs. Ball State (11-24).
2006: Appeared in four contests as reserve linebacker and on special teams, including bowl game. Credited with two tackles on the season. Played five plays on defense in collegiate debut against Buffalo (9-16). Saw time on 19 defensive plays vs. Indiana State (9-23). In on 11 defensive plays against Temple (10-21). Appeared on special teams vs. TCU in Poinsettia Bowl (12-19).
High School: Team captain and Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-Missota Conference, first team MC All-Academic, second team Minneapolis Star-Tribune All-Metro, second team St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State, and first team Associated Press All-State as senior. Collected school-record 183 tackles with nine sacks, three pass deflections, and two forced fumbles as linebacker and rushed for 322 yards and five touchdowns on 68 carries as running back for 12-1 league champion and Class 4A playoff semifinalist during senior season. Set school career records with 368 tackles and 16 sacks. First team All-Missota Conference with 141 tackles, eight pass deflections, six sacks, and two forced fumbles as linebacker and ran for 345 yards and one TD on 60 attempts as running back for playoff entry during junior year. Totaled 62 stops in varsity campaign as a sophomore. Three-time football letterwinner and earned four letters in track. Also competed in AAU basketball. Recruited by Iowa State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Wyoming, and Western Michigan.
Personal: Born Nov. 19, 1986 in Northfield, Minn. Marketing major. Made 3.0 cumulative GPA list following 2007 Spring semester. Son of Tim and Wanda Larsen. Ray Lewis fan. Enjoys fishing.
LARSEN'S CAREER STATISTICS
LARSEN'S CAREER GAME HIGHS
Tackles: 13, vs. Western Michigan, 10-13-07
TFLs: 2, vs. Ball State, 11-24-07
Sacks: 2, vs. Ball State, 11-24-07