All-Star honors have been piling up for UMass senior fullback Chris Zardas. The fullback was named to the Colonial Athletic Association First Team all-stars and now has been selected to the New England Football Writers team.
The former St. John's Prep star running back from Wakefield also has attracted a lot of attention from NFL scouts and agents during his outstanding season.
"I was lucky that agents and scouts came to a lot of our games to see offensive tackle Vladimir Ducasse, who will probably be a second round draft pick," said Zardas. "It was a good way for me to get exposure, and a lot of them liked what they saw.
"Our team had a tough year (5-6 record). When our defense played well the offense didn't, and when our offense was going well the defense didn't come through. We turned the ball over a lot and didn't put four solid quarters together in many games."
Zardas did an outstanding job blocking for tailbacks Tony Nelson and Jonathan Hernandez. He played in all 11 games for UMass and versatility was a big part of his success, rushing 43 times for 164 yards and three touchdowns along with hauling in seven catches for 46 yards.
He was plagued with illness and injuries his first two years in college and could have applied for a waiver to get another year of eligibility, but decided to move on.
"Coming back was in my mind for quite a while, but after I got the accolades and a lot of interest I thought it was best for me to move on," said Zardas.
"Right now I'm in the process of trying to pick an agent. I did a couple of interviews last week and it feels like the college recruiting process all over again. I talked to a lot of pro scouts and they liked me as a good free agent prospect. After I select my agent, they'll tell me where they want me to go to train. I'll go to the UMass and Boston College pro days after that."