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Who is Zach Larsen? Best center in FCS has NFL pedigree

Southern Utah offensive lineman Zach Larsen (58) in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz.
Rick Scuteri, Associated Press

Last winter, Zach Larsen of Southern Utah University won the FCS Rimington Award, given to the nation’s best center in that subdivision, and now the 6-foot-1, 305-pound Sandy native is looking to transfer that success to football’s biggest stage.

Larsen certainly has a few things going in his favor as he makes the jump to the NFL. In addition to being the best at his position in the FCS, he’s got a strong pedigree, as his brother Cody Larsen played a few seasons for the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos, and another brother Tyler Larsen currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Demario Warren, Larsen’s coach at SUU, said this week in a short video produced by the school that Larsen always did what was best for the team throughout his collegiate career.

“Just super grateful to have him in our program,” Warren said. “Anything you want in a player, he was that. He was a hard worker, was team-first, not selfish, and as a coach, that’s the thing you’re most proud of — somebody that’s that selfless and that just goes out and does his work.”

That attitude was reflected in comments Larsen made earlier this month to Donnie Druin of AllSteelers, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ community page of Sports Illustrated.

“I am a finisher,” Larsen said. “I don’t just get to my block and stay in front of the guy. I make sure that the guy I’m going against ends up on the ground as much as possible.”

Just four players in SUU history have been drafted, with the most recent two (Miles Killebrew and LeShaun Sims, both of whom are still active) having come in 2016.