« Football 2009

Zoltan Mesko

School

University of Michigan

Position
Punter
Major
Marketing and Finance

Classroom

Mesko graduated in the spring of 2009 with a degree in marketing and finance from the Ross School of Business. He maintained a 3.61 GPA in one of the nation’s top business schools. He earned the 2009 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten (2006-07-08) selection in addition to being a three-time U-M Athletic Academic Achievement recipient (2006-07-08). He was a 2008 candidate for Academic All-America honors.

Character

Mesko was born in Romania but fled the country as a youth during the war torn time. He is fluent in Romanian, Hungarian, English and knowledgeable in German and Spanish. He was a financial analyst intern at Merrill Lynch in the summer of 2008.

Community

Mesko was recently recognized as a member of the 2009 Allstate Good Works Team for his outstanding off-the-field achievements and contributions to the local community.  Mesko visits the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital every Thursday night during the academic year. He was a participant in the U-M Football Carr’s Wash for Kids charity event that raised money for the building of a new children’s hospital at Michigan (2005-06-07). He was a counselor at the U-M Women’s Football Academy benefiting the Universities Comprehensive Cancer Center (2005-06-07-08). Additional community service activities include: Participation in the 10th annual “Mock Rock” student-athlete talent show. The event exceeded previous years’ totals by raising over $55,000 to benefit the new Mott’s Children’s Hospital; participant and emcee for part of the 2008 Dance Marathon, which lasted 30 consecutive hours where a total of $428,109.79 was raised to help assist children in rehabilitation; taking part in the day-long clean-up effort of various places around Ann Arbor, which involved several students’ participation; spending a full day at Michigan’s football facilities with kids from 1st through 8th grade playing all kinds of team building games and talking to them about the importance of staying in school, working hard, and abstaining from drugs; and organizing a group of students and athletes to participate in the 24-hour walking event, which helped raise money to aid the effort in finding a cure for cancer. In addition, he led and instructed numerous football kicking and punting camps for grades 5 through 12. He was positioned as the leader of a group of 10 football players at the University of Michigan and had to make sure everyone was accounting for their weekly point totals that were earned through various community service activities and maintenance of a 3.0 or higher GPA. He was a speaker at numerous high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools speaking to students about staying in school, saying “no” to drugs and alcohol. He served as Vice President of International Real Estate for three years in the Global Investment Club, analyzing potential overseas real estate investment opportunities in places such as Dubai, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and most of Europe. As a member of the Sales Club, he attended various meeting and discussions on the importance of using proper selling technique into today’s business environment. He spoke with different executives and presidents of companies about the significance and impact of integrity and honesty in organizations. And as a member of MPowered – a club for students with an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit – he discussed different ideas to starting businesses and attended numerous presentations from highly successful entrepreneurs such as the founders of Zingerman’s, Pandora, and a few prestigious Venture Capitalist firms.

Competition

Mesko is entering his fourth year as team’s starting punter. He is the nation’s active career leader in punts and punting yards and lists fourth among active players in career punting average. He is a 2009 Playboy Magazine All-American and a 2009 Ray Guy Award candidate. He was a 2008 Ray Guy Award semifinalist (one of 10) and a 2008 All-Big Ten first team selection. He made Phil Steele’s All-America fourth team in 2008. He was the 2007 Derek Howard Award winner as Michigan’s top hustler. He has appeared in 38 career games and has 200 career punts for 8,391 yards. He is second in U-M history in career punts and punting yardage. His 42.0-yard career average ranks second in school history. He holds the program-standard for most punts (80) and punting yards (3,436) in a season. Sixty-three punts have been downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He has 43 punts of 50 yards or better and booted a 68-yard career long vs. Ohio State. He led the Big Ten and ranked 19th nationally in punting average (42.95 avg.) during the 2008 season.