Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Last year Ty Zimmerman suffered a potentially season-ending leg injury, missing the game against Baylor which caused K-State to lose its #1 BCS standing. However, he returned to play in the Fiesta Bowl but couldn’t lead the Wildcats to a victory over Oregon. Hopefully his senior year plays out a little differently. As announced on Tuesday, Ty Zimmerman’s walking boot will be gone for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and instead he’ll be donning two cleats, ready to take the field against Michigan.
After injuring what appeared to be his ankle against TCU, Zimmerman was strictly on crutches the next week against Oklahoma as K-State saw a four game winning streak come to an end (yes, the parallels to 2012 run deep). His return to the playing field can’t be understated. One of K-State’s captains, he was named all-conference all four seasons with the team, and was named to The Associated Press’ third-team All-America list despite playing in just 10 games. He finished with 69 tackles (three for loss) and three interceptions this year.
Michigan has struggled to run the ball consistently this year, and ended the season failing to get much push on the line until the season finale when the Wolverines put 41 points up on Ohio State. However, Zimmerman’s presence in the pass game will be vital. The most important match up may be with tight end Devin Funchess, who has 47 receptions for 727 yards and six touchdowns this year. Zimmerman’s coverage ability will help control this threat.
Zimmerman was also named a second-team All-American by USA Today. The Junction City native will finish as one of the program’s most accomplished walk-ons in a long line of successful walk-ons under Bill Snyder.