Big Rapids lineman Matt Zeilinger signs with St. Norbert

Matt Zeilinger

BIG RAPIDS — Former Big Rapids lineman Matt Zeilinger is getting ready for the next big step in his athletic career: college football.

Zeilinger played for a team which made the playoffs last fall, and said this week he will be playing football at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. The team was 10-2 last season.

“The coach (from the school) reached out to me over social media and I responded and got to talking to him a little bit,” Zeilinger said. “I went to visit there and I loved it a lot. They run pretty much the same offense (option) we do (at Big Rapids). I love the school and I decided I wanted to play there.

“They have an extremely successful football program there. They win their conference almost every year.”

Zeilinger said St. Norbert will use him on the offensive line.

“I also considered Olivet College and Kalamazoo College,” he said.

All three schools he considered are affiliated with NCAA Division III.

“I’ve always thought (of college football) as a possibility” he said. “Right after my senior season is when coaches started coming to talk to me and I considered it a serious possibility.”

Zeilinger indicated he has a chance to make the roster in 2019 rather that being redshirted.

Zeilinger said he’s currently lifting to get into condition for college football.

“I started playing football my sophomore year, my first experience with football,” he said. “Coaches (Mike) Selzer and all other coaches coached me and made me love football.”


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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