Clarkston's Zezula to make history on Saturday as the starting quarterback for Wayne StateFootball  |
Detroit – For a kid from Clarkston, the city of Detroit has treated D.J. Zezula like a favorite son.
It started at Ford Field two years ago when Zezula quarterbacked Clarkston High School to it’s first football state championship. Last year, he led the Wolves to a second straight title there.
Now, after only a couple months as a college student, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound gunslinger is about to become only the fourth true freshman to start at quarterback at Wayne State, the Motor City’s only college football program (Division II). Zezula will get the nod in the Warriors home opener Saturday against Truman State.
He earned the job last week in a loss at Michigan Tech after beginning the season at No. 3 on the depth chart. Injuries in the first half to the Warriors’ other quarterbacks presented Zezula with an opportunity and he stepped in and shined. Taking little time to find his bearings, he went on to complete 12-of-18 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
“It feels really good to know you’re in the right spot, doing the right things and getting recognized for it,” he said. “When the game was over, it finally hit me that this is home, this is where I’m supposed to be. The support I’ve gotten from the coaches, players and the entire Wayne State community has just been tremendous.”
Support is also coming from his hometown community.
“I got a lot of texts and phone calls from all my former coaches and teammates,” he said. “That’s what great about Clarkston and that community and that’s why I love that place so much.”
The difference between the high school game and college game is striking to Zezula, who’s been dealing the bumps and bruises all the week from his first action in college.
“I’m definitely feeling the change physically,” he said. “The hits you take are more painful. The speed and size you are facing are exponentially increased.”
The loss last week was the first Zezula experienced in two years. His Clarkston club reeled off 27 straight wins to conclude his prep career. Zezula is intent on getting Wayne State back on the winning track.
“Last week was my first time on the losing end of a football game in a while, it was bitter, but I learned from it,” he said.
His goal in Warriors uniform is similar to his high school days.
“I brought Clarkston its first state championship and now I want to do the same at Wayne State before I’m done here and bring the program its first national championship,” he said.